TORONTO — Carolina’s Andrei Svechnikov scored three times for the first postseason hat trick in franchise history and the Hurricanes beat the New York Rangers 4-1 on Monday for a 2-0 lead in the Stanley Cup qualifier series.
Svechnikov beat Henrik Lundqvist for the game’s first goal less than 5 minutes into the game. He followed with a power-play one-timer early in the second off a feed from Sami Vatanen, then buried a third at 14:02 of the third off a feed from Sebastian Aho — who assisted on all three of Svechnikov’s goals.
At age 20 years, 130 days, Svechnikov is the youngest player with a hat trick in the Stanley Cup playoffs since Sean Couturier did so at 19 years, 128 days in Game 2 of the 2012 conference quarterfinals against the Penguins.
Jordan Martinook also scored for the Hurricanes, following Svechnikov’s second goal 71 seconds later for a 3-1 lead in a sequence that put Carolina ahead for good.
The Rangers had swept the regular-season series, and the Hurricanes rarely led in any of those four meetings. But the Hurricanes have yet to trail in two games in Toronto and now have a chance to sweep the best-of-5 series.
Teams that have taken a 2-0 lead in a best-of-5 are 55-1 in those series, though the NHL hasn’t had one since 1986.
Artemi Panarin scored for the Rangers, beating Mrazek in the closing seconds of a 5-on-3 power play midway through the first. Lundqvist finished with 30 saves, but lost for the second time in the postseason against the Hurricanes after going 3-0 against them in the regular season.
New York played without winger Jesper Fast. He left early Saturday after a hard hit from Carolina’s Brady Skjei — traded from the Rangers in February — and coach David Quinn ruled him out Sunday. … Rookie goaltender Igor Shesterkin (10-2) didn’t play for the Rangers. Quinn had been uncertain Sunday on Shesterkin’s status after he was unavailable for Game 1. … Carolina defenseman Dougie Hamilton didn’t play Monday after missing Game 1 and multiple recent practices.
Game 3 is Tuesday night in Toronto.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.