Hurricanes feel fortunate to be up 1-0 over Islanders going into Game 2

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The Carolina Hurricanes need to improve their game and the Islanders of New York trying to play exactly like in Game 1.

But it is the Hurricanes leading the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the First Round 1-0 going into Game 2, which is Monday night in Raleigh, N.C.

The Hurricanes won the opening match 3-1 on Saturday, despite being knocked out for most of the match. But Carolina goalkeeper Frederik Andersen was spectacular, making 33 saves, allowing his team to take the lead in the series.

‘We weren’t great, that’s for sure’ Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said on “(New York) is a perfect example of a team that has been playing playoff hockey for a month (against) a team that hasn’t. As the game went on, it started to get up to speed on what it’s going to be like.”

Evgeny Kuznetsov, acquired from the Washington Capitals at the trade deadline, and Martin Necas (empty net) each had a goal and an assist and Stefan Noesen also scored for Carolina in Game 1.

New York views the opener as a missed opportunity.

“I’m encouraged because I thought we played a really solid game. We did a lot of good things there,” Islanders coach Patrick Roy said in The Athletic. “We had our chances. And I’m frustrated because, you know, we had our chances.”

Their best chance came just 45 seconds into the third period, when the game was tied at 1-1. New York defender Noah Dobson’s first shot hit the goal post from the high area as Andersen was knocked down by his own defender Brett Pesce. The puck bounced right back out and Dobson charged over the net to follow up his shot and looked to have a sure shot with Anderson up and down. But the goalkeeper managed to get back into position and use his blocker to deflect Dobson’s rebound attempt.

“I think I just clipped someone’s skate,” Andersen said on “I just threw the technique book out the window and tried to figure out something to get close to the puck and get something on it.”

Andersen, 34, missed 50 games from the first week of November through March 7 due to a blood clot problem. He was 9-1-0 with a 1.30 goals-against average in his last ten regular season games. Andersen allowed two or fewer goals in nine of those games.

“Unfortunately he missed a lot of time, but this is what you get him for,” Brind’Amour said. “He’s always been a great goalkeeper, but he just couldn’t stay there. Hopefully he can stay healthy because if he plays like that, it’s something really big.”

Rookie Kyle McLean, the son of Islandersassistant coach and former NHL player John MacLean scored and Semyon Varlamov made 23 saves for New York on Saturday.

“There are a lot of positives,” says the IslandersKyle Palmieri said in The Athletic. “It sucks to lose one, but I think, realistically, we have a lot to draw from as we refocus and get ready (for Game 2) on Monday.”

— Field-level media

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