Hurricanes move within a win of a first-round playoff sweep after 3-2 win over Islanders

There’s no place like home. Although for the Carolina Hurricanes, Long Island isn’t far off.

The Hurricanes posted their fifth playoff road win in six tries at the New York Islanders on Thursday, moving within a win of a sweep after holding on for a 3-2 win in Game 3.

Brent Burns, Dmitry Orlov and Sebastian Aho scored for the Hurricanes, who got a 29-save performance from Frederik Andersen, making his third consecutive start for the first time all season.

Burns opened the scoring less than five minutes in and Orlov added a second halfway through the period as the Hurricanes scored seven straight goals against the Islanders dating back to their Game 2 comerback.

The Islanders got on the board early in the second period when Pierre Engvall was left alone in front of the Carolina net, but got a quick answer from Aho, whose wrist shot beat Ilya Sorokin and sent Sorokin to the bench in favor of Semyon Varlamov, who had started the first two games.

Brock Nelson was also left alone to slot home a rebound late in the second period to make it 3-2 but Andersen denied Alexander Romanov an open net late to preserve the win.

Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Brent Burns (8) celebrates his goal against the New York Islanders during the first period in game three of the first round of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs at UBS Arena.
Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Brent Burns (8) celebrates his goal against the New York Islanders during the first period in game three of the first round of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs at UBS Arena.

The Hurricanes picked up where they left off in Game 2 when a good shift from the Jesperi Kotkaniemi line ended with a Burns shot through traffic that beat Sorokin on Carolina’s third attempt of the game, thanks in part to a Teuvo Teravainen screen. Martin Necas and Teravainen had the assists.

After Andersen flashed his glove to take away an open net from Noah Dobson, Orlov took a pass from Andrei Svechnikov while trailing on the rush and beat Sorokin to make it 2-0.

Islanders go to the bullpen

Other than Jordan Martinook’s sneak-attack goal from behind the net that ended up being the game-winning goal for the Hurricanes in Game 2, it’s hard to argue that goaltending has been the problem for the Islanders. But when you give up five unanswered goals to fall behind 2-0, something has to give.

So exit Varlamov and enter Sorokin for Thursday’s Game 3 at UBS Arena on Long Island, after Varlamov allowed seven goals on 64 shots in the first two games. That lasted less than two periods after Sorokin gave up three goals on only 14 shots.

Sorokin, who played all six games of the first-round series between the Hurricanes and Islanders last year, started twice as many games as Varlamov during the regular season, even if Varlamov had better underlying stats. But Varlamov carried the Islanders down the stretch, starting seven of the final 11 games and posting wins in six of them, and got the nod to start the postseason.

“Varly’s a team guy. So is Ilya,” Islanders coach Patrick Roy said Thursday morning. “They’re very important pieces of my team. It’s funny because my dad sent me a text this morning about my days in Montreal when (goalie coach) Francois Allaire made an analogy. He said Brian Hayward, who was my partner at the time, he was a Cadillac. He was comfortable. I was the Ferrari. Could be a little more bumpy and all this. Today we’re going with the Ferrari. We had the Cadillac the first two games, and we’re going with the Ferrari.”

The Islanders’ Matt Martin is a game-time decision with an undisclosed injury. He played sparingly on the fourth line Monday but was on the ice for the final-minute shenanigans and one of several players escorted off the ice after tussling with Carolina’s Stefan Noesen. Martin has played in 81 straight playoff games for the Islanders. Ruslan Iskhakov would replace him.

“If (Iskhakov) plays, I’ll be curious to see how he does,” Roy said. “Like everyone else, I guess.”

Hudson Fasching, who played in Game 1, will replace Simon Holmstrom in the lineup as well.

For the Hurricanes, Tony DeAngelo draws in for the injured Brett Pesce (“lower body”) and will fill Pesce’s spot alongside Brady Skjei on the second pairing. Jesper Fast (neck), meanwhile, is out for the season, Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said on the Bally Sports South pregame show.

The Hurricanes also recalled Ronan Seeley from Chicago (AHL) for more defensive depth, with Dylan Coghlan and newly arrived rookie Scott Morrow currently the next men up on the blue line.

Jesper Fast out for season, Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour says before Game 3

Load management

Andersen started Game 3, which was no surprise given his performance in games 1 and 2. But it is the first time all season he has started three consecutive games, and even with the extra day off between Game 2 and Game 3, the Hurricanes are monitoring his workload, but not concerned about it.

“It’s definitely wait-and-see how this goes moving on,” Brind’Amour said. “It’s pretty much how we do it anyway. Get through one game and see where we’re at. But, yeah, that’s a consideration.”

With the short turnaround to a 2 p.m. start for Game 4 on Saturday, there’s certainly a case to be made for starting Pyotr Kochetkov in that game, especially if the Hurricanes are able to take a 3-0 lead in the series. After Andersen’s return to action on March 7 after missing four months with a blood-clotting issue, Andersen and Kochetkov alternated starts over 20 of the Hurricanes final 21 games, with Spencer Martin starting the 21st.

How to watch

Thursday’s game is available as usual on Bally Sports South with Mike Mansicalco, Tripp Tracy and Hanna Yates on the call. ESPN2 has the national broadcast.


In true road playoff games under Brind’Amour, the Hurricanes went into Game 3 with a 4-1 record at the Islanders and 3-17 at every other team. ... The Aho-Martinook goals nine seconds apart in Game 2 were the quickest two playoff goals by any team since 2018. ... The Islanders’ 12 shots in Game 2 were the fewest allowed by the Hurricanes in a playoff game in franchise history.