Mathew Barzal scores in 2nd OT as Islanders beat Hurricanes 3-2 to avoid series sweep

Carolina Hurricanes' Seth Jarvis (24) fights for control of the puck with New York Islanders' Mathew Barzal (13) during the first overtime period of Game 4 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series Saturday, April 27, 2024, in Elmont, N.Y. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

NEW YORK — Mathew Barzal capped a solid all-around effort by the New York Islanders with their season on the line to get a big win.

Barzal scored his second goal of the game on a deflection 1:24 into the second overtime and the Islanders beat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 in Game 4 on Saturday to avoid a sweep in their first-round playoff series.


Jean-Gabriel Pageau also scored and Semyon Varlamov stopped 42 shots — including 18 in the overtimes — on his 36th birthday to help the Islanders stave off elimination.

“Our mindset was really good,” Islanders coach Patrick Roy said. “Guys were determined to find a way to fight to win this hockey game. … It was a team effort. It was about our D played a strong game and we were very good defensively, we were very good offensively.”

Varlamov stopped a shot by Jordan Staal in the opening minute of the second overtime. The Islanders’ Robert Bortuzzo then fired a shot from the point that deflected in off Barzal’s stick for the win.

“A great shot by Bobby to just find a lane and throw it in an area where there’s some bodies,” Barzal said. “And a lucky bounce.”

Bortuzzo said he knew the puck went in when he heard the crowd erupt.

“You didn’t hear anything and then you hear the roar,” he said. “I have not been part of a moment like this. It’s a moment I will remember.”

It was the Islanders’ first overtime goal in the playoffs since Anthony Beauvillier in Game 6 of 2021 Eastern Conference finals against Tampa Bay in the final game at the Nassau Coliseum.

“We live to see another day,” Islanders captain Anders Lee said. “We got one to go for us. Our guys worked for it for sure.”

Seth Jarvis and Stefan Noesen scored and Frederik Andersen finished with 33 saves for Carolina, which is seeking to advance to the second round for the fifth time in six years.

“It was a good game, two teams played hard,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “We didn’t get the bounce. That’s how it goes. … We expected it to be a long series and we just have to focus on the next one.”

Game 5 is Tuesday night in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Both teams had chances early in the first overtime. Varlamov stopped a try by Jesperi Kotkaniemi at 1:37. Andersen denied Brock Nelson on a 2-on-1 with Lee at 3:45.

Jarvis had a shot near the midpoint of the period that Varlamov caught and squeezed, drawing chants of “Var-ly! Var-ly!” from the UBS Arena crowd.

There was some pushing and shoving at the end of the first overtime as Lee took exception to being knocked down by an elbow from Carolina defenseman Dmitry Orlov after the buzzer. Both were in the box with offsetting penalties at the start of the second extra period.

With the score tied 1-1 after two periods, the Islanders began the third with their first power play of the game, thanks to a penalty called on Carolina’s Sebastian Aho at the end of the second.

They took advantage as Pageau got the rebound of Noah Dobson’s shot and fired a shot past Andersen from the left circle at 1:38. It was the Islanders’ second goal on six power plays in the series against a Hurricanes team that was first in the league on the penalty kill during the season.

Carolina tied it with their second power-play goal of the game as Noesen redirected a pass in front from Teuvo Teravainen with 5:52 left for his second of the series.

The desperate Islanders came out aggressive and had the better chances in the opening minutes of the game, but couldn’t convert. Andersen made a nice save to deny Pierre Engvall in front about four minutes in.

The Hurricanes got their first power play at 7:14 and took advantage just 46 seconds later as Jarvis got a loose puck in front and put it in from the left side for his second of the series.

Lightning avoid elimination with 6-3 victory over Panthers

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Steven Stamkos scored his fourth and fifth goals of the series and the Tampa Bay Lightning avoided elimination with a 6-3 victory over the Florida Panthers in Game 4 of the first-round playoff matchup Saturday night.

Game 5 is Monday night at Florida. Only four times in 206 tries has an NHL team rebounded from a 3-0 deficit to win a series.

Stamkos opened the scoring during the Lightning’s three-goal first period and helped ease Florida’s sustained pressure during the opening half of the third period with his goal at 9:34 that gave Tampa Bay a 5-3 lead. Nicholas Paul added a goal during a 5-on-3 power-play goal with 3:38 to go.

Brandon Hagel had two goals and an assist, and Brayden Point added a goal and two assists for the Lightning. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 22 saves, with Nikita Kucherov and Victor Hedman both getting three assists..

Defenseman Mikhail Sergachev was a surprise addition to the Lightning lineup after being out since having surgery on his left leg on Feb. 8 to stabilize a broken tibia and fibula. He had an assist.

Carter Verhaeghe, Sam Reinhart and Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored for Florida. Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 26 shots.

Stamkos, Hagel and Point scored 6:13 apart in the first to make it 3-0. Hagel had a short-handed goal.

Verhaeghe cut it to 3-1 at 4:17 into the second.

After Hagel and Reinhart traded goals 1:30 apart midway through the second, Ekman-Larsson pulled Florida to 4-3 with his first playoff goal since Aug. 2, 2020, with 5:27 remaining in the period.

Stamkos became the third Tampa Bay player to reach 100 postseason points and moved past Ondrej Palat (48) into solo possession of second on the franchise list with 50 goals.

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