Hurricanes beat Islanders 3-1 in 1st-round NHL playoff series

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Stefan Noesen grabbed a loose puck atop the crease and pushed it past Semyon Varlamov early in the third period to help the Carolina Hurricanes beat the New York Islanders 3-1 on Saturday to open their NHL playoff series.

Game 2 of the best-of-7 first-round series is Monday night.

Noesen’s collect-and-finish score at 3:44 of the period finally pushed Carolina into the lead, then Martin Necas added an empty-net clincher from beyond the blue line with 1:32 to go. Those capped a grinding outing for the Hurricanes, who needed plenty of big stops from Frederik Andersen to hang on at home.

Andersen finished with 34 saves and was under a steady bit of pressure with the Islanders finishing with a nine-shot advantage. His stops included a wild one midway through the third when he fell backward after the puck pinged the post, then batted down Noah Dobson’s skating-in finishing attempt while essentially seated in the crease.

Evgeny Kuznetsov also scored for Carolina, converting a power play just 95 seconds into his postseason debut with the franchise.


BOSTON (AP) — Jeremy Swayman made 35 saves, getting some help from the post to stop a point-blank Auston Matthews shot on Saturday night as Boston beat Toronto in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series.

Jake DeBrusk scored two power-play goals, and Bruins rookie Jonny Beecher scored on his first postseason shot on goal. Brandon Carlo added a goal about a minute after Matthews, who led the NHL with 69 goals this season, caught Swayman away from the crease but banged the puck off the near goalpost.

Trent Frederic added an empty-netter to make it 5-1 with just over two minutes left.

The Associated Press