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Evgeny Kuznetsov leads Hurricanes past Islanders 3-1 in Game 1

Evgeny Kuznetsov had a goal and an assist for the host Carolina Hurricanes in a 3-1 win against the New York Islanders in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference first round on Saturday night in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Stefan Noesen scored the decisive goal early in the third period, Brady Skjei had two assists and Frederik Andersen made 34 saves for Carolina.

“It was a tough match. I think the first two periods went as planned. To be honest, I’m happy we won,” Kuznetsov said. “That’s not how we want to play. We have to make sure we fix that for the next game.”

The Canes also defeated the Islanders in Game 1 of the opening round last season before winning the series in six games.

Kyle MacLean scored and Semyon Varlamov made 23 saves for the Islanders, who finished third in the Metropolitan Division during the regular season, 17 points behind the Hurricanes.

New York Islanders center Kyle Palmieri (21) misses his scoring attempt against Carolina Hurricanes goalie Frederik Andersen (31) during the third period of Game 1.New York Islanders center Kyle Palmieri (21) misses his scoring attempt against Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Frederik Andersen (31) during the third period of Game 1.

New York Islanders center Kyle Palmieri (21) misses his scoring attempt against Carolina Hurricanes goalie Frederik Andersen (31) during the third period of Game 1.

“We came up short, but we’ve been resilient all year and this is the time to continue to do that,” Islanders coach Patrick Roy said. “It came down to us not being able to score with our big chances.”

The Hurricanes took a 2-1 lead at 3:44 of the third period.

Kuznetsov took a shot from the right point that was tipped by Skjei and then hit Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock before Noesen swept the loose puck into the net from in front of the crease.

Martin Necas scored into an empty net with 1:32 left for a 3-1 lead.

Anders Lee went to the penalty box for pinning Skjei at 1:22 of the first period and the Hurricanes scored 13 seconds into the power play to take a 1–0 lead.

Bo Horvat won the face-off for Islanders to start the penalty kill, but Andrei Svechnikov saved a clearance attempt by Adam Pelech in the New York zone. The puck found its way to Kuznetsov in the left circle and he fired Carolina’s first shot of the game off the crossbar and into the net.

“Normally I pass from that area, but I didn’t see anyone coming towards me and I decided to shoot the puck and it worked pretty well,” Kuznetsov said.

The Islanders tied the score 1-1 at the 8:20 mark of the first.

Alexander Romanov stopped a Hurricanes clearance attempt to leave their zone and then took a wrist shot that was deflected by Lee on its way to the net. Andersen saved the ball but couldn’t secure the puck as he sprawled in the crease and MacLean swept it into the net.

New York outscored the Hurricanes 13-6 in the scoreless second period.

Islanders defenseman Noah Dobson hit the right post with a slap shot 45 seconds into the third period. The puck then landed on Andersen, who made an off-balance save on Dobson’s follow-up attempt when he lost his stick in the corner.

Less than three minutes later, the Hurricanes scored.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Hurricanes beat Islanders in Game 1 of the NHL playoffs

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