Hurricanes hold on for 3-2 Game 3 win, push Islanders to brink of elimination

Hurricanes goaltender Frederik Andersen stops a shot Islanders forward Hudson Fasching during Carolina’s 3-2 win Thursday in Game 3 their first round playoff series in Elmont, New York. (Frank Franklin II / AP Photo)

ELMONT, N.Y. — The Hurricanes knew they would be facing a desperate team on Thursday.

The Islanders’ desperation wasn’t enough.

Carolina jumped out to a two-goal lead it never relinquished, holding off New York in a hectic third period to win 3-2 Thursday at UBS Arena and take a commanding 3-0 series lead.

“They’re desperate and they’re fighting as hard as they can,” Hurricanes forward Jordan Martinook said, “and for us to be able to just kind of hang in there and hold the lead there is big for us. And to be able to get the win and go up 3-0 is big.”

Frederik Andersen, making his third consecutive start for the first time since last year’s postseason, made 29 saves. That included 15 in the first period — more shots than he faced in the entirety of Game 2 — and 13 more in the third when the Islanders had a 21-11 5-on-5 shot attempt advantage.

“I don’t get impressed by him anymore just because he does it every night,” Martinook said of Andersen.

While Andersen missed most of the regular season, Andrei Svechnikov is playing his first playoff games since two seasons ago after suffering a knee injury last regular season that kept him out of the postseason.

He was a force for the third straight game on Thursday.

After Brent Burns’ point shot got through a Teuvo Teravainen screen and past Sorokin for a 1-0 Carolina lead at 4:46 of the first period, Svechnikov extended the lead to 2-0 with an elite play.

He entered the zone coming up the right wing against retreating Islanders defenseman Robert Bortuzzo and passed back and across to a trailing Dmitry Orlov. Orlov shot to the short side to double the lead at 10:25 of the opening period.

“I jumped on the rush and Svech made a nice play,” Orlov said. “I tried to find the lane to shoot, and their own d-man kind of screened the goalie and I just hit the net and scored the goal.”

The Islanders responded at 2:48 of the second when Pierre Engvall scored In front, but Carolina quickly reestablished a two-goal lead.

Svechnikov slashed across the blue line, accepted a pass from Jalen Chatfield and started to drive toward the net before pulling up. That created space for a quick pass to Sebastian Aho, who snapped a shot from the high slot at 7:14 of the middle frame that sent Ilya Sorokin (11 saves) to the bench in favor of Semyon Varlamov.

“I’d rather pick a pass (than) score a goal, to be honest,” Svechnikov said. “I like to make plays.”

New York wasn’t done, however, as Brock Nelson scored his first of the postseason in front of Andersen with 2:21 left in the second to pull the Islanders within one.

That set up a third period that Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour figured would be the Islanders’ most desperate of the series. Brind’Amour didn’t reveal his message to the team at the final intermission, but he said it didn’t make much of a difference.

“We didn’t do it, that’s for sure,” he said. “(The plan) wasn’t that, I’ll tell you that. But you knew they were gonna have that kind of a desperate go. You don’t want to play in your end, but that’s what we ended up doing.”

Andersen, however, helped Carolina hold on.

“He was very, very sharp and obviously the difference in the game,” Brind’Amour said.

And now Andersen and the Hurricanes will have a chance to sweep the Islanders Saturday afternoon on Long Island.

“We want to come in and focus on what we do to prepare for it, and that’s what we’re going to do tomorrow,” Andersen said. “And then come into the game and try to play the same way we try to do every night. That’s always going to put us in a good position to try to win.”

Notes: Brind’Amour said before the game that Jesper Fast, who was injured in the season finale, could miss the rest of the postseason. Defenseman Brett Pesce is also likely out for the first round. … Burns had 10 shot attempts — his goal and nine shot attempts blocked. … The Islanders won 29 of 48 faceoffs.  … New York was credited with 40 hits to Carolina’s 22.