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Carolina goalkeeper saves 34 in opening win | The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

RALEIGH, N.C. – Nothing came easy for the Carolina Hurricanes heading into the NHL playoffs.

Stefan Noesen scored the go-ahead goal early in the third, while Frederik Andersen had a big night in net to help the Hurricanes get past the New York Islanders 3-1 on Saturday to open their first-round series.

Andersen had 34 saves, including a huge save from mainly his side when he was in the crease early in the third period. And he withstood constant pressure from the Islanders as they carried on their late-season surge to clinch a playoff berth and finish with a nine-shot lead, spending much of the first two periods spent the action.

“You don’t want to be a team that depends on your goalkeeper, but Freddie has always been there for us and made the big save when we needed it,” defenseman Brady Skjei said. a better job to help him.”

Noesen scored the winner when he grabbed a loose puck at the top of the crease and pushed it past Semyon Varlamov at 3:44 of the third period, while Martin Necas added an empty-net clincher that fired in from beyond the blue line with 1:32 go to.

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

Rookie Kyle MacLean scored for the Islanders in the first period, pushing a loose puck over the line after an Andersen stop in a battle to tie the score. Varlamov finished with 23 saves, but the Islanders couldn’t capitalize on the few openings Andersen had left at the other end.

The wildest came after Andersen slipped on teammate Brett Pesce’s skate and fell into the crease just as Noah Dobson tapped the right post wide. The puck slid back to Dobson, who skated onto the prone Andersen, only to see the netminder knock the puck down the ice.

Andersen said he was just “trying to figure something out, get close to the puck and get something on it.”

It was a moment that also stood out to Islanders coach Patrick Roy.

“Encouraged because I thought we played a really solid game,” Roy said. “We did a lot of good things, it was a hard-fought game, but we had our chances. And we were frustrated because we had our chances.”

The Islanders are in the playoffs for the fifth time in six years, although it wasn’t an easy battle to get back. Their up-and-down season included a coaching change in January (the firing of Lane Lambert) and a six-game skid only in mid-March.

But New York won eight of its last nine and clinched a playoff spot on Monday.

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

BRUINS 5,

MAPLE LEAVES 1

BOSTON – Jeremy Swayman made 35 saves and got some help from the post to stop a point-blank shot by Auston Matthews as Boston defeated 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, took Swayman away from the crease but knocked the puck off the near goal post.

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

David Kampf scored for Toronto and Ilya Samsonov stopped 23 shots for the Maple Leafs.

Game 2 is Monday night in Boston before the series shifts to Toronto for Games 3 and 4. If the Bruins follow their pattern of the season, it will be Linus Ullmark in net instead of Swayman.

Toronto hasn’t beaten the Bruins in the playoffs in six tries since 1959. Boston also won the regular season series 4-0.

photo Carolina Hurricanes goalie Frederik Andersen (31) is congratulated after his victory over the New York Islanders by teammates Jake Guentzel (59) and Jordan Staal (11) during the third period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first round playoff series in Raleigh, NC, Saturday, April 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)
photo Carolina Hurricanes’ Jake Guentzel (59) tries to collect the puck between New York Islanders’ Ryan Pulock (6) and Adam Pelech (3) during the first period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first round playoff series in Raleigh, NC, Saturday April 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)
photo Carolina Hurricanes’ Martin Necas, center right, celebrates after his empty-net goal with teammate Jack Drury, center left, and Brady Skjei (76) as New York Islanders’ Mathew Barzal (13) skates by during the third period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first round playoff series in Raleigh, NC, Saturday, April 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)
photo Carolina Hurricanes’ Sebastian Aho (20) shoots the puck to New York Islanders goalie Semyon Varlamov (40) as he battles Islanders’ Ryan Pulock (6) during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first round playoff series in Raleigh, NC, Saturday, April 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)
photo New York Islanders goalie Semyon Varlamov (40) looks at the puck against the Carolina Hurricanes during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first round playoff series in Raleigh, N.C., Saturday, April 20, 2024. (AP Photo/ Karl B. DeBlaker)
photo New York Islanders’ Kyle Palmieri (21) stretches and shoots the puck next to Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Frederik Andersen (31) with Hurricanes’ Brett Pesce (22) and Brady Skjei (76) nearby during the third period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first round playoff series game in Raleigh, NC, Saturday, April 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)
photo Carolina Hurricanes goalie Frederik Andersen blocks a New York Islanders shot during the third period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series in Raleigh, N.C., Saturday, April 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)
photo New York Islanders’ Kyle MacLean (32) celebrates his goal with teammates during the first period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series against the Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh, N.C., Saturday, April 20, 2024. (AP Photo/ Karl B. DeBlaker)
photo Carolina Hurricanes assistant coach Tim Gleason, above right, speaks to the defense with head coach Rod Brind’Amour, above left, nearby during the third period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first round playoff series against the New York Islanders in Raleigh, NC, Saturday April 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)