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About Last Night: Aho caps comeback for Canes

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On a night when Cam Ward returned to PNC Arena for the first time as a visitor, the Canes used a perfect game from the power play to erase a two-goal deficit and win in overtime.

Jamie Kellner

The Carolina Hurricanes flipped the script from their last game Monday night, overcoming a two-goal deficit to beat the Blackhawks in overtime. Sebastian Aho played hero in Cam Ward’s homecoming game, and the team’s power play continued its hot streak. Here are some key takeaways from the win.

Aggressive overtime

As head coach Rod Brind’Amour remarked on after the game, this overtime period was a polar opposite of the Canes’ most recent game against the Red Wings. In that game, the Red Wings dominated possession in OT, and the Canes needed a couple spectacular saves from Scott Darling to even make it to the shootout.

Against Chicago, the Canes were the aggressors, and had multiple scoring chances that culminated with Aho’s winner.

“[Overtime] looked way different [than the last game],” Brind’Amour said. “It looked like we were going to score right from the get-go. That was good. Obviously, it was nice to see one go in for us. It was one of those games you just didn’t know which way it was going to go. It really felt like they had some good chances and then we had some. Obviously, I’m happy it went the way it did.”

Power play comes through

Late in the second period, the Canes were down 2-0 and desperately needed a spark. That spark came on the power play, with Teuvo Teravainen blasting one home right off the faceoff and Micheal Ferland cashing in a beautiful feed from Andrei Svechnikov just 1:06 later.

After a rough start to the season, the power play is heating up now, with five goals in the last four games. If the Canes and get their even-strength scoring going, they might just have something cooking here.

Scott Darling’s best?

As Brett pointed out on Twitter, this might have been Scott Darling’s best game as a Hurricane.

Neither of the goals Darling allowed were his fault. He made several strong saves, particularly early in the second period when the Hurricanes were still flat and needed their goalie to keep them in the game.

They got that, as Darling came up with a glove snag on Patrick Kane off a two-on-one, and stopped Nick Schmaltz on a breakaway.

It was a nice rebound for Darling after a rough game against the Red Wings, and could be a very encouraging sign going forward.

Seabrook with the cheapshot

The Canes got a scare in the third period when Svechnikov took an elbow to the head from Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook. He stayed down on the ice for a bit, and while he did get up and try to enter the resulting scrum, he ended up going to the locker room. The team was able to breathe a sigh of relief when he cleared the concussion protocol and returned to the game.

This is not a “headshot” per se, and it’s probably borderline in terms of a call from the league, but it’s the kind of play that needs to leave the game of hockey.

It was also great to see Jordan Martinook stand up for Svechnikov right away. As Brind’Amour said after the game, that should go without saying, but we didn’t see much of that kind of team toughness under Bill Peters. Kudos to Martinook for sticking up for his teammate.