NEW YORK — Outplayed for much of the first two periods while losing players to injuries, the Carolina Hurricanes scored two quick goals early in the third period and held on for another big road victory.

Warren Foegele and Nino Niederreiter scored 48 seconds apart to rally the Hurricanes to a 2-1 victory over the New York Islanders on Sunday and a 2-0 series lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

“We knew we had to make sure to come out hungry going to the third period,” Niederreiter said.

Petr Mrazek stopped nine of 10 shots before leaving with an injury 6 1/2 minutes into the second period. Former Portland Pirates goalie Curtis McElhinney came on and finished with 17 saves to help Carolina win for the sixth time in its last seven playoff games.

“He’s been huge,” Foegele said about McElhinney. “It’s not easy coming off the bench there and haven’t faced a shot for 30 minutes or so and come up big with some stellar saves.”

The Hurricanes opened the first round with losses at Washington before evening the series at home. They then lost Game 5 on the road before tying it at home again and then winning a marathon Game 7 on the Capitals’ ice in two overtimes to advance.

Now, after winning two in New York, they’re heading home with the series lead and a chance at a sweep.

“It’s huge taking two on the road here,” Foegele said. “We just got to focus, regroup and worry about the next game. Last series we were down 2-0 and we knew we had to come back, so they’re definitely going to be thinking that right now.”

Mathew Barzal scored and Robin Lehner made with 16 saves for the Islanders.

“We were much better than the night before (in Game 1),” Islanders captain Anders Lee said. “Now we got to go into their building and do what they did to us.”

Game 3 is Wednesday night in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The Hurricanes lost defenseman Trevor Riemsdyk to a shoulder injury in the opening minute and forward Saku Maenalanen to an upper body injury in the third period.

Trailing 1-0 after two periods, the Hurricanes took the lead early in the third. Foegele tied it, taking a pass from Lucas Wallmark and beating Lehner inside the right post from the right faceoff dot 17 seconds in. It was his fifth goal of the postseason.

Niederreiter, who began his career with the Islanders and had an assist on Jordan Staal’s winner in OT in Game 1, put the Hurricanes ahead when he redirected a shot by Teuvo Teravainen for his first goal of the playoffs at 1:05.

McElhinney stopped a shot by Anthony Beauvillier 5:15 into the third, and then stuffed a try by Barzal with just under 11 minutes left.

Then, with New York on a power play, McElhinney saved Josh Bailey’s attempt from the left doorstep to preserve the lead. After the penalty expired, Jordan Eberle’s shot from in front hit the crossbar and stayed out with 7 1/2 minutes remaining.

The Islanders’ Ryan Pulock also hit the crossbar with 1:02 left.

“We had some looks,” Bailey said. “Hit a couple of posts in the third. It could have been a different game, but that’s hockey sometimes.”

The Hurricanes had a two-man advantage for 1:25 early in the second after Eberle and Scott Mayfield were called for slashing penalties, but they couldn’t get any shots during the 5-on-3.

Mrazek was replaced by McElhinney during a broadcast timeout 6:27 into the middle period. The Hurricanes later announced he had a lower-body injury.

McElhinney, making his first appearance of the postseason, stopped an attempt by Matt Martin and the rebound try by Mayfield near the midpoint of the period, then made a nice glove save on another shot by Mayfield later in the period.

Devon Toews appeared to double the Islanders’ lead with 15 seconds to go in the second when the rebound of his backhander went in off his skate. However, the goal was waved off by the officials for kicking the puck in.

Barzal gave the Islanders a 1-0 lead with his first career playoff goal, a power-play score with 6:43 left in the opening period. Barzal got the puck on the left side of the net and sent a pass across the crease toward Josh Bailey, but the puck deflected off the stick of Hurricanes defenseman Jaccob Slavin and up into the top right corner.

The goal ended Mrazek’s scoreless streak at 125:04, dating to the second period of Game 7 in the first round against Washington.

AVALANCHE 4, SHARKS 3: Tyson Barrie scored the tiebreaking goal and assisted on two others, and visiting Colorado tied the second-round series at a game apiece.

Avalanche Coach Jared Bednar reunited his top line by moving Mikko Rantanen up to play with Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog with his team trailing 1-0 in the second period.

The move led to a goal by Landeskog on their first shift together and another by Barrie later in the period as Colorado bounced back from a 5-2 loss in the series opener.

Former Shark Matt Nieto scored in the third period and MacKinnon added an empty-netter to give Colorado its third victory in its last 24 games in San Jose. Philipp Grubauer made 31 saves.

Game 3 is Tuesday night in Denver.

Brent Burns scored twice and Evander Kane also scored for the Sharks, who had won four straight games. Martin Jones made 28 saves.

Burns’ second goal came with 10.9 seconds remaining, after MacKinnon made it 4-2 with 1:02 left.

The Avalanche turned the game around thanks to their top line that has been so dangerous all year. Landeskog got to the front of the net to deflect a point shot from Barrie past Jones for the equalizer midway through the second.

The ice was tilted Colorado’s way after that, and the trio helped deliver again a couple shifts later. Rantanen raced past Marc-Edouard Vlasic to negate an icing and create a scoring chance for Colorado. Jones made a good stop on Landeskog from in close, but the puck went out to Barrie at the top of the faceoff circle and he beat Jones with a shot to the top corner to give Colorado a 2-1 lead.

The Sharks had a chance to tie it early in the third, but Grubauer robbed Logan Couture from the slot with a glove save.

Shortly after, Nieto scored following a scramble in front of Jones after a turnover by Marcus Sorensen to make it 3-1 and give the Avalanche some breathing room.

Burns scored with a wrister from the top circle to make it a one-goal game with 4:34 to play.

MacKinnon’s empty-netter made Burns’ last-minute power-play goal moot.

The Sharks got off to a fast start as they looked to build on their 5-2 victory in the series opener. They looked like the quicker team early and appeared to have much more energy than they did Friday night when they were still recovering from a grueling seven-game series in the first round.

That paid off midway through the first when Kane beat rookie Cale Makar to the rebound of Burns’ point shot and knocked it past Grubauer for his first goal since the playoff opener.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.