Islanders fall in 0-2 hole after Hurricanes ride power plays, Fast winner to 4-3 OT triumph in Game 2

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Islanders Hurricanes Game 2
New York Islanders’ Scott Mayfield (24) tries to gather in the puck next to goaltender Ilya Sorokin (30) with Cal Clutterbuck (15) and Carolina Hurricanes’ Stefan Noesen (23) and Sebastian Aho (20) nearby during the second period of Game 2 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series in Raleigh, N.C., Wednesday, April 19, 2023. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)

Jesper Fast lifted the game-winner over the shoulder of Ilya Sorokin 5:03 into overtime to deliver a 4-3 Carolina Hurricanes victory in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals to take a 2-0 best-of-seven series lead heading back to Long Island. 

Stemmed off a turnover from an Islanders clear that missed the stick of defenseman Scott Mayfield, who took a high stick from Jordan Martinook just seconds earlier that forced him to lag behind, the Hurricanes took advantage of their chance — and they had an abundance of them. 

Carolina was awarded six power-play opportunities, which included two double-minors, while the Islanders did not have a single man-advantage opportunity — just the fourth time in NHL postseason history that one team was given five or more power-play opportunities while another team had zero. 

Falling behind 2-0 on the heels of five of those penalties, the Islanders got to even strength and controlled a majority of the final 35 minutes with Kyle Palmieri and Mathew Barzal tying things up in the second period before Brock Nelson put them in the lead with 10:42 to go in regulation.

Hurricanes defenseman Jaccob Slavin’s impossible-angle shot that caromed off the helmet of Islanders goalie Ilya Sorokin tied the game up just 3:01 later, though, and ultimately forced overtime.

The Islanders were forced to the back foot early again after Paul Stastny deflected a tough-angled Jaccob Slavin shot under Sorokin 5:49 into the game.

Nearly five minutes later, their prospects grew even dimmer when Casey Cizikas was whistled for a double-minor high-sticking call on Sebastian Aho — which carries four minutes. But Canes forward Tuevo Teravainen bailed the Islanders out a minute-and-a-half into the Carolina power play when he was called for a trip. 

The kill injected some life into the Islanders, who worked a chance in front for Nelson alone in front of Raanta. He couldn’t lift the initial one-timed chance over the netminder before chipping the rebound just wide. 

An influx of chances for New York led to an increase in physical play and the end of the first period ended with a melee stemming from a Matt Martin interference penalty that saw him hit Jordan Staal away from the play and sit on him, rewarding the Hurricanes with another power play to start the second. 

The Islanders killed it but could only stay even for two minutes before Samuel Bolduc was put in the box for another double-minor of a high-sticking penalty. While New York’s penalty kill remained strong, the Hurricanes found a second when an entrance pass at the top of the zone was batted by the Islanders’ Sebastian Aho and past an unsuspecting Sorokin, who couldn’t track the puck, at the 7:19 mark. 

With sustained time at even strength, the Islanders found a way to claw back.

Palmieri pulled one back 1:29 after Aho’s own-goal when he wrapped around the Hurricanes net, listed in front, and slid a backhander under Raanta, who was caught deep in his goal.

Deploying defensemen more in an attempt to spark the offense, the Islanders continued to control the second half of the second period and ultimately got the tying goal right at the death. Adam Pelech jumped up to take a loose puck in the neutral zone and shoveled it to a rushing Barzal just a few inches in front of him. Entering the Carolina zone and about 20 feet away from Raanta, Barzal unleashed a wrister that snuck under the glove of the Hurricanes netminder with 20.3 seconds to go before the break. 

The Islanders continued to control the pace of play into the third period, holding the Hurricanes to just two shots across the first half of the frame. Nelson finally found a way through at the 10:42 mark of the period when his wrister beat Raanta glove-side again. 

His chance came after shrugging off a defender in the neutral zone after Palmieri floated the puck near the one-on-one situation just outside the Hurricanes’ zone.

For Nelson, his 24th career postseason goal tied him with Brent Sutter for ninth on the franchise’s all-time playoff scoring list.

Slavin found an equalizer with 7:41 to go in regulation — just 3:01 after Nelson — when his wrister from the left goal line banked off the head of Sorokin and into the roof of the net.

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