Hurricanes stage third-period rally to top Islanders, take commanding 2-0 series lead

There are comeback wins in hockey and then there are great comeback wins.

The Carolina Hurricanes had a great one Monday in Game 2 of their Stanley Cup series against the New York Islanders, erupting for four goals late in the third period for a 5-3 win and a 2-0 lead in the series.

After pulling goalie Frederik Andersen for an extra attacker, the Canes tied the score 3-3 on Sebastian Aho’s tap-in with 2:15 left in regulation.

Not done, the Canes then took a 4-3 lead nine seconds later. Jordan Martinook knocked defenseman Noah Dobson off the puck behind the Isles net, grabbed the puck and stuffed it past goalie Semyon Varlamov.

When Jake Guentzel scored an empty-net goal with 56 seconds remaining, it was 5-3 and another victory sealed.

The series now shifts to Long Island for Games 3 and 4. Game 3 is Thursday.

After the Islanders scored the first three goals of the game, the Canes made it 3-1 after the second period, and pulled within a goal on a Seth Jarvis score midway through the third — the first of four goals in the period.

Injury update

Canes defenseman Brett Pesce left the game in the second period with a lower-body injury and did not return.

Andersen back in net

Andersen hadn’t started consecutive games since December, before his long layoff to deal with blood-clotting issues, but the Carolina Hurricanes doubled up on the goalie in Game 2.

Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour confirmed Monday afternoon that Andersen would be back in the net for the second game of the first-round Stanley Cup playoff series after rotating with Pyotr Kochetkov on an every-other-game basis since Andersen’s return to action six weeks ago.

Asked if he had any concerns about Andersen’s ability to play twice in less than 54 hours, Brind’Amour shrugged: “Not really,” he said. “No.”

Andersen was at his best in Game 1, stopping 33 of 34 shots in Carolina’s 3-1 win at PNC Arena. While he was not named the game’s first star — that postgame honor went to center Evgeny Kuznetsov — the veteran goalie was called the difference in the game by Brind’Amour.

Andersen was not at practice Sunday, given the day off by Brind’Amour, as Kochetkov and Spencer Martin manned the nets.

Andersen missed 49 games with a blood-clotting issue, returning March 7 against Montreal. Since his return, Andersen has been used in a rotation with Kochetkov, starting 10 of 21 games while Kochetkov started 10 and Spencer Martin one. Andersen has not started consecutive games since early in the season, on Oct. 30 and Nov. 2.

Semyon Varlamov was back in the net for the Islanders.

Finally, Frederik Andersen was where he was supposed to be as Hurricanes grab Game 1

Injury update, Part 2

Jesper Fast was not at practice again Sunday and was ruled out for Game 2. Fast has been slowed by a neck strain suffered in the final regular-season game at Columbus and did not play Game 1.

Isles forward Jean-Gabriel Pageau missed Game 1 with a lower-body injury but Pageau practiced Monday morning in his usual spot on the Islanders’ third line with Anders Lee and Pierre Engvall.

Hurricanes center Jesperi Kotkaniemi: ‘We have to be a lot better than that’

Canes aggressive on PK

Special teams often are the difference in playoff games and the Canes had the edge in Game 1. Kuznetsov scored on the power play early in the game while the Canes’ penalty killers were 2-for-2, allowing four shots.

The Canes were the NHL’s best at penalty killing in the regular season and Roy said Sunday it was probably the most aggressive PK units his team has faced.

“There are a lot of aggressive teams but they were really fast on us,” Roy said. “It was good for our team to see it, even if they probably knew from the past. But we’re going to have to find a way to generate some offense.

Carolina Hurricanes tough out Game 1 win over New York Islanders to open NHL playoffs