RALEIGH — It seemed like the hockey gods didn’t want the first round series between the Hurricanes and Islanders to end after just five games.
As such, everyone is headed back to Long Island for Game 6.
Carolina had a goal overturned by review, allowed one after a puck hit the Hurricanes’ Sebastian Aho in the mouth, and had two turnovers that led to New York tallies in a 3-2 loss in front of a sellout crowd Tuesday at PNC Arena.
“We had a couple of mistakes that cost us, but there wasn’t a ton of those,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “The bounces just didn’t go our way. It’s very simple.”
The goal by Brock Nelson early in the second period summarized the Hurricanes’ night.
Islanders forward Pierre Engvall — who had opened the scoring in the first period — curled into the slot and fired a shot that struck Carolina’s Aho in the face, and Nelson knocked the puck out of the air and into the net at 3:16 of the middle frame to give New York a 2-0 lead.
“Unfortunate it hits a guy in the face,” Nelson said. “But for me it was nice. I was right there, and I was able to get a stick on it in the air and go in.”
It wasn’t the first time fate didn’t go the Hurricanes’ way in Game 5.
The Hurricanes dominated the first 10 minutes of the game, but Engvall scored after a Brent Burns turnover to strike first. Carolina got a late power play in the first, and Aho set up Stefan Noesen for a goal that seemingly tied the game with 1:49 left in the opening frame.
The Islanders challenged for offside, and a review confirmed that Noesen entered the zone ahead of the puck, nullifying the Hurricanes’ sixth power play goal of the series.
“That’s just how the night was going,” Brind’Amour said. “You could almost sense that. … It’s offside, but it really didn’t impact anything. And then we got in, got set — so it’s just how it goes. That was tough.”
The loss wasn’t, however, all because of bad luck.
Carolina forward Paul Stastny cut New York’s lead to 2-1 at 13:10 of the second period, redirecting a Jalen Chatfield shot past Ilya Sorokin (34 saves) to give the Hurricanes life.
It was quickly drained when, at 4-on-4, Hurricanes forward Martin Necas turned the puck over in the neutral zone to Mathew Barzal, who raced up ice on a 2-on-1 and called his own number, snapping a shot past Antti Raanta (19 saves) with 1:55 left in the second period to make it 3-1 and reestablish New York’s two-goal lead.
“He’s all over the ice trying to do a little too much, and that’s kind of what he does,” Brind’Amour said of Necas. “There’s some open ice, trying to make a play there, and it just rolled on him. Unfortunately, rolled on to the wrong guy, right? Like their best player, one of their best players. Not a good recipe.”
Necas took responsibility for the turnover after the game.
“It’s my bad,” Necas said. “I made a turnover there and that was a big goal for them. I’ve gotta learn from that. There’s nothing else to do (other) than just come out for the next game and be ready.”
Aho, stitched up and swollen, got his third goal of the series just after the midway point of the third period. Seth Jarvis won a race to the puck behind the Islanders’ net, spun away from defenseman Adam Pelech and passed to Aho in the right circle. His shot beat Sorokin to cut New York’s lead to 3-2.
But Carolina couldn’t get the equalizer on Sorokin, pressuring with an extra attacker for nearly three minutes before time ran out.
The Hurricanes will now head back to Long Island for Friday’s Game 6, hoping to replicate their Game 4 win at UBS Arena and advance to the second round.
“It’s supposed to be hard this time of year,” Aho said. “We’re ready for a long series. It’s no big deal. We just go back to Long Island and try to do what we did the other night there.”
Notes: Jack Drury, who was hurt early in Game 4 on a penalized hit by the Islanders’ Ryan Pulock, did not play due to injury. … Frederick Andersen dressed as the backup goalie for the first time since Game 1 of the series after missing the last three games with an illness and then injury. … Burns finished with six shots on goal and 14 shot attempts. … Raanta lost in regulation for the first time at PNC Arena this season. … Chatfield recorded his first career playoff point, and Puljujarvi and Jesperi Kotkaniemi also got their first points of the postseason.