With his parents in attendance, Sebastian Aho made sure they would have a show to remember.
Aho scored his first two NHL goals and the line of Aho, Jordan Staal and Teuvo Teravainen combined for four goals and eleven points as the Carolina Hurricanes came alive on offense, defeating the Washington Capitals 5-1 in front of 12,436 at PNC Arena.
After Evgeny Kuznetsov gave the Caps an early lead at 12:02 of the first period, Aho came back 35 seconds later and scored falling down after Staal was robbed by Philipp Grubauer, one of five saves the Caps’ backup goaltender made from Canes players unchecked in the slot.
Teravainen put the Canes on top for good at 18:01 of the first period as Grubauer was finally burned by his defense’s lackadaisical coverage in front of their net, the winger left totally unguarded at the hash marks.
Most of the changes that Bill Peters made to his lines, including season debuts for the three callups from Charlotte, paid dividends for the Canes. Derek Ryan was one of those robbed by Grubauer from the slot in the first period, and he and Brock McGinn continued the chemistry that have made them one of the most dangerous offensive combinations in the AHL this season.
Staal completed the trifecta of goals from the newly-formed line on a power play at 5:59 of the second period, in perfect position to clean up a rebound of a Teravainen shot after a bit of fancy stickwork to hold the zone a few seconds earlier. Victor Rask got in on the scoring action five minutes later, tapping home a rebound of a Klas Dahlbeck shot that missed the net but caromed off the boards.
The Caps, who arrived in Raleigh early this morning after an overtime win in Chicago last night, never got going in the game. The defensive zone coverage was sorely lacking, and the Canes took full advantage, firing 31 shots on Grubauer in the first two periods en route to a 38-21 advantage in the game.
Aho iced the win into an empty net at 16:10 of the third period, tapping home a Teravainen pass for his second of the game and the culmination of a three-point night with his parents in attendance to watch.
The win ensures that the Canes will continue their streak of not being swept in a season by the Caps since the 1997-98 season continues, and improves the Canes to 30-2-4 when scoring three or more goals against Washington.
Teravainen and Rask now both have two-game goal streaks, and Ward improves to 3-4-3 on the season with a save percentage above .900 for the first time all year.
Rank the Performances
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