Pierre Engvall #18 of the New York Islanders scores a...

Pierre Engvall #18 of the New York Islanders scores a goal against the Carolina Hurricanes during the first period of the Eastern Conference Game Five of the First Round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PNC Arena on April 25, 2023 in Raleigh. Credit: Getty Images/Jaylynn Nash

RALEIGH, N.C. — Nothing came easy for the Islanders from the opening faceoff to the relief-inducing final buzzer after the Hurricanes skated six-on-five for more than two minutes.

But they will play at least one more game this season after staving off elimination with a 3-2 win over the Hurricanes in Game 5 of their Stanley Cup first-round series on Tuesday night at PNC Arena.

It took a gutsy, if not pretty, performance backed by a superb Ilya Sorokin, who made 34 saves, while the team blocked 21 shots and the penalty kill went 4-for-4.

“High, for sure,” Brock Nelson said of the team’s emotions. “Everyone knows what’s at stake. Coming into a tough building and you get a big win. Not thinking big picture and getting ahead of where we’re at.”

In NHL history, 3-1 series deficits have been overcome 31 times and the Isles now trail 3-2. Game 6 is Friday night at UBS Arena.

“When you lose, you almost would rather just get beat,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “We lost tonight but I don’t know if we got beat. We were pretty good.”

The Islanders are now 4-3 in playoff elimination games since Lou Lamoriello took over as the president/general manager prior to 2018-19.

“I think you’ve seen this from this group a lot this year,” captain Anders Lee said. “lt’s a resilient group. Our road just to get in [to the playoffs] wasn’t easy. We had to pull ourselves out of a hole after some tough stretches. But we believe in this group and what we can do and how we can play.”

The Hurricanes, who got 19 saves from Antti Raanta, are now 9-2 at home since the start of last season’s playoffs. They won the first two games of this series at home, 2-1 in Game 1 and 4-3 in overtime in Game 2.

But the Islanders never trailed in Game 5 despite being outchanced 76-41.

“I think we were determined today to win the game,” said Pierre Engvall, who had a goal and an assist for his first points in the series as his line with Nelson and Kyle Palmieri was able to navigate the neutral zone to play up ice. “I think we did everything we needed to do to win the game. You could see it out there, guys blocking every shot.

Engvall opened the scoring at 10:27 of the first period, capitalizing on a Hurricanes’ turnover deep in their zone for his first career playoff goal. It marked the first time the Islanders scored in the first period in 10 playoff games and they snapped a streak of 24 playoff games without leading after the first period.

Engvall also had the assist on the initial shot as Nelson made it 2-0 at 3:16 of the second period. Engvall’s shot hit the Hurricanes’ Sebastian Aho in the mouth  and Nelson swatted the puck out of the air and past Raanta. Aho retreated to the dressing room for stitches to his bloodied lip before returning.

 Aho pulled the Hurricanes within 3-2 at 10:28 of the third period after defenseman Adam Pelech turned the puck over.

The Islanders then killed off a subsequent Hurricanes’ power play when their Sebastian Aho prevented a breakaway for Derek Stepan with a hold at 11:51. The final 43 seconds of the man advantage was negated when the Hurricanes’ Aho high-sticked Bo Horvat.

The Hurricanes had come within 2-1 at 13:10 of the second period as Paul Stastny deflected defenseman Jalen Chatfield’s shot from the right point. But Mathew Barzal, with the teams skating four on four, beat Raanta over his glove with a wrist shot to make it 3-1 at 18:05 of the second period as he kept the puck on a two-on-one with Horvat.

Islanders coach Lane Lambert dropped Horvat, his top-line center, to the third line between Zach Parise and Hudson Fasching midway through the first period while elevating Jean-Gabriel Pageau to center Lee and Barzal.

“There was no, for lack of a better term, panic in our game,” Lambert said. “We just made sure that we stuck to our plan. We knew we needed a couple of saves to go home. Certainly, we did that. I thought we just played pretty steady and pretty solid and we battled.”

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