Sebastian Aho scored twice in the third period while James Reimer (37 saves) was strong in net to help the Carolina Hurricanes beat the New York Rangers 4-1 Tuesday night for a sweep of their best-of-five Stanley Cup qualifier series in Toronto.
Warren Foegele scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period for the Hurricanes, redirecting a shot from the point by Brady Skjei to beat rookie Igor Shesterkin at 5:07 in the third. Then Aho followed with a highlight-reel goal about 5½ minutes later, taking the puck from Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba along the boards and skating in on Tony DeAngelo to backhand the puck past Shesterkin as he went to his knees.
Aho added an empty-netter late to seal it, with the Hurricanes sweeping the best-of-5 series after losing all four regular-season meetings against the Rangers.
Flames power up
In Edmonton, Calgary scored a trio of power-play goals en route to a 6-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets and a 2-1 lead in their qualifying series.
Sean Monahan led Calgary’s attack with a goal and two assists. Elias Lindholm and Mikael Backlund each scored and had an assist.
Matthew Tkachuk and Milan Lucic also scored, and Johnny Gaudreau produced an empty-netter to go along with a helper. Andrew Mangiapane had a pair of assists.
Calgary starter Cam Talbot made 33 saves for the win. Winnipeg counterpart Connor Hellebuyck stopped 26 in the loss.
Nikolaj Ehlers and Andrew Copp scored for the Jets.
Predators back on the prowl
The Nashville Predators stumbled in their postseason opener by falling into an early hole, putting themselves in a must-win situation for Game 2. Behind steady goaltending and a dedication to clogging shooting lanes, the Predators snatched the momentum back less than 24 hours before Game 3.
Ryan Johansen had a goal and an assist, Juuse Saros stopped 24 shots and the Predators jumped on the Arizona Coyotes early in a 4-2 win to even their best-of-5 qualifier series in Edmonton.
“Momentum, whether it’s shift to shift, period to period, game to game is always big,” said Nick Bonino, who scored Nashville’s first goal. “We’ve got some now.”
Nashville had the early jump after falling into a three-goal hole to lose Game 1, scoring on goals by Bonino and Johansen in a span of three minutes of the first period.
Eberle powers Islanders to 2-0 cushion
Jordan Eberle scored twice, including the go-ahead goal, and the New York Islanders rallied to a 4-2 win over the Florida Panthers and take a 2-0 lead in their best-of-five preliminary round playoff series in Toronto.
Ryan Pulock and Matt Martin also scored, and Semyon Varlamov stopped 26 shots in a game New York overcame a pair of one-goal deficits. The Islanders particularly took advantage of the Panthers’ undisciplined play by scoring twice on seven power-play chances.
“Even when we didn’t score, we were able to get some momentum and try to take some control over,” said Pulock, who tied the game at 2 with Florida’s Mike Hoffman serving a holding penalty.
“We’ve got to play with some composure in those pivotal moments,” said Panthers first-year coach and three-time Stanley Cup champion Joel Quenneville.
The Panthers have advanced past the playoffs’ opening round just once in franchise history, in 1996, when Florida reached the Stanley Cup Final before being swept by Colorado.
Leafs back even with Blue Jackets
Auston Matthews and John Tavares scored and the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-0 to even their best-of-five qualifying series at one game.
Toronto defenseman Jake Muzzin was taken off the ice on a stretcher with 1:52 left in the game after his head made violent contact with Columbus’ Oliver Bjorkstrand behind the Blue Jackets net. Muzzin was attended to by a trainer before more medical personnel arrived on the ice.
After the game, the team tweeted that Muzzin was transported to a hospital and that he was alert and able to move all limbs.
Frederik Andersen made 20 saves for his third career playoff shutout and Morgan Rielly added an empty-net goal with 43 seconds left.
The Blue Jackets, after shutting out Toronto 2-0 in Game 1, could muster little offense in this one while the Leafs finally solved goalie Joonas Korpisalo, who finished with 36 saves.