Aho has 5 points, 3 goals to lift Hurricanes over Wild 6-2
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Sebastian Aho’s knack for finding open space and Teuvo Teravainen’s ability to locate him made Saturday a big night for the Carolina Hurricanes.
Aho recorded a career-high five points and tied his personal best with three goals, and the Hurricanes snapped the Minnesota Wild’s five-game winning streak with a 6-2 victory.
Two of Aho’s three goals were set up by Teravainen as Carolina won for the third time in four games. Teravainen, who had three assists, also set up Andrei Svechnikov’s goal. Lucas Wallmark and Joel Edmundson also scored for the Hurricanes (18-11-1).
Minnesota (14-12-4) got goals from Ryan Donato and Mats Zuccarrello but twice was the victim of nifty passes from Teravainen to Aho in the second period.
“The two of them have always had some chemistry together,” said Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour. “When they’re engaged together, when they’re playing well away from the puck, when (Aho) is especially, then they’re a really special group, because they create more chances.”
Carolina led 2-1 before Teravainen slid a cross-ice pass to Aho for a one-timer that beat Alex Stalock 4:43 into the second period. After Zuccarrello cut the deficit to 3-2, Aho made a break for the net on the power play, tapped his stick on the ice, and received a pass from Teravainen for a tap-in 4:45 before the second intermission.
Teravainen also set up Svechnikov with a point-to-goalmouth feed on a 5-on-3 power play in the first period to break a 1-1 tie.
“It just shows how smart he is, and an unbelievable passer,” Aho said of Teravainen. “A couple tap-ins for me and Svech.”
Aho also assisted on Svechnikov’s goal, won a faceoff back to Edmundson for his score, and added an empty-net goal to finish the scoring. Aho, who’s in his fourth season with the Hurricanes, said he has been with Teravainen for so long that they have developed good chemistry.
“Overall, I think we’re pretty good together,” Teravainen said. “We read each other pretty good. He’s pretty fast, and he thinks fast out on the ice. It’s tough to say, but it feels easy sometimes.”
Petr Mrazek made 22 saves for his NHL-leading 10th home win as the Hurricanes cooled off a Wild team that had recorded at least one point in 11 straight games (8-0-3) but was in the concluding game of a three-game road swing.
Donato tracked down his own rebound and shot it behind Mrazek just 2:21 into the game to get the Wild off to a good start, but the Hurricanes otherwise controlled the game, outshooting Minnesota 40-24.
“That’s sort of unacceptable the way we played,” Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said.
Minnesota played without Mikko Koivu (lower body injury) and Jared Spurgeon (upper body injury).
“I think we miss them, there’s no doubt, there’s no team in the league that can afford to miss two of their best players and over time, have success,” Boudreau said. “We miss them, but the next guy’s got to come up and get the job done.”
NOTES: Carolina’s Jordan Staal is 16-11-3 against his brother Eric. The Staals were teammates for the Hurricanes from 2012 through 2016, and Eric ranks first in Carolina history in goals (322), assists (453), points (775) and games played (909). Both Staals had an assist Saturday. ... Minnesota has played 20 of its first 30 games on the road, including the last three games. ... Carolina is 16-4 this season when Svechnikov has at least one point. ... Mrazek is 10-3 this season at home.
Wild: Start a three-game homestand with a meeting with Anaheim on Tuesday.
Hurricanes: Begin a five-game western swing with a visit to Edmonton on Tuesday.