Hurricanes have goalie Frederik Andersen to thank for Game 1 victory

    Despite some sloppy play offensively, the Carolina Hurricanes lead its series over the New York Islanders, 1-0, after winning 3-1 on Saturday, thanks mainly to the efforts of goaltender Frederik Andersen, who made 34 saves. 

    “We weren’t great, that’s for sure,” Carolina head coach Rod Brind’Amour said via Kurt Dusterberg of the NHL website. “[New York] is a perfect example of a team that’s been playing playoff hockey for a month [against] a team that hasn’t. As the game wore on, it started getting up to speed with how it’s going to be.”

    Meanwhile, New York considers Game 1 a missed opportunity.

    “I’m encouraged because I thought we played a really solid game. We did a lot of good things out there,” Isles bench boss Patrick Roy told The Athletic’s Arthur Staple. “We had our chances. And I’m frustrated because, you know, we had our chances.”

    Andersen, 34, missed 50 games from the first week of November until March 7 with a blood-clotting issue. He was 9-1-0 with a 1.30 goals-against average in his final 10 regular-season games. Andersen allowed two goals or fewer in nine of those games.

    “Unfortunately, he’s missed a lot if time, but this is what you get him for,” Brind’Amour continued. “He’s always been a great goalie, he’s just not been able to stay in there. Hopefully, he can stay healthy because if he plays like that, it’s a huge, huge thing.”

    The Islanders hope that Andersen can’t continue playing that way.

    “There’s a lot of positives,” said New York right wing Kyle Palmieri. “It sucks you’re down one, but I think, realistically, we have a lot to draw on as we refocus and get ready [for Game 2] on Monday.”

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