The Upshot: NY Islanders pushed to the brink of elimination after 3-2 Game 3 loss

Carolina Hurricanes v New York Islanders - Game Three
Carolina Hurricanes v New York Islanders - Game Three / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages


The Carolina Hurricanes secured a commanding 3-0 series lead with a 3-2 win over the New York Islanders at UBS Arena on Thursday night. Brent Burns and Dmitry Orlov had first-period goals for Carolina, and Sebastian Aho scored at 7:14 of the second period, leading to Isles goaltender Ilya Sorokin being replaced by Semyon Varlamov. Sorokin stopped 11 of 14 shots, while Varlamov made eight saves in relief. Pierre Engvall and Brock Nelson had the goals for the Islanders, who will try to stave elimination on Saturday afternoon. Andrei Svechnikov had two assists and Frederik Andersen stopped 29 of 31 shots in the win for the Hurricanes.


The Islanders played their best, most complete game of the series, outshooting Carolina 31 to 22 and dictating play in the third period in search of the game-tying goal. They showed resiliency after being down 2-0 after 20 minutes when Pierre Engvall scored to pull them within one. They did it again when Brock Nelson made it a 3-2 game late in the second period.


The decision to start Ilya Sorokin was meant to spark the Islanders as they returned home for Game 3. Despite his up-and-down season and Semyon Varlamov becoming the trusted starter down the stretch, the stage was set for Sorokin to show why he is the organization's franchise goaltender. Instead, Sorokin wasn't at his best, allowing three goals on 14 shots and failing to make clutch saves down 1-0 and 2-1 when they were needed. He was pulled after Sebastian Aho's snapshot gave the Canes a 3-1 lead in the second period. "We win and lose as a team, said Patrick Roy when asked about Sorokin's play. "Sometimes, we make changes as a coach because we feel we just want to change the momentum of the game. I'll leave it at that."


Per NHL PR, Frederik Andersen became the second goaltender in Hurricanes/Whalers history to earn a win in each of his team’s first three games to start a postseason after Mike Liut (4 GP in 1986). Sebastian Aho scored his fifth career game-winning goal in the playoffs and passed Jordan Staal as well as Kevin Dineen for the second most in franchise history, behind Rod Brind’Amour (6).


After being pulled for Varlamov, Sorokin didn't go to the bench, but opted to stand, and then sit in the tunnel with his mask on, reflecting on how the night went wrong.


The Islanders will try to stave off elimination and avoid a sweep when they host the Carolina Hurricanes at UBS Arena on Saturday afternoon.

Face-off is set for 2:00 PM EDT.