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Aho’s late winner lifts Canes past Sharks

The Carolina Hurricanes moved to 2-0 on the fresh season with a 2-1 win in San Jose Friday night.

Carolina Hurricanes v San Jose Sharks Photo by Kavin Mistry/NHLI via Getty Images

Thanks to a late game-winning goal from Sebastian Aho, the Carolina Hurricanes beat the San Jose Sharks 2-1 Friday night to move to 2-0 on the season.

In a fairly tightly contested game, it was the Canes who eventually came out on top after goals from Aho and Martin Necas late in the third and second periods, respectively. Evgeny Svechnikov scored the lone goal for San Jose late in the first period, as the Sharks couldn’t hold on to their early lead.

Both goaltenders were on their best games Friday night, as Antti Raanta and James Reimer took part in a great battle between the pipes. Raanta stopped 18 of 19 shots faced, while the former Carolina netminder in San Jose’s net stopped 33 of 35 shots faced in a fantastic outing.

The start of the game was relatively slow, as neither team really took control through the opening 15 minutes of play. Both teams had a power play and neither scored, while chances and possession were relatively even.

San Jose broke through on the scoreboard first late in the opening period, as the wrong Svechnikov gathered the puck in the zone and took advantage of Calvin de Haan being a step too slow and fired one past Raanta to make it 1-0.

For most of the second period, it was the goalies who were on display. Raanta made a couple of great stops on the penalty kill, but it was Reimer who really stole the show. Reimer made a handful of exceptional saves, shutting down a few good looks from the Canes.

Carolina did finally break through in the waning seconds of the second period, as Andrei Svechnikov made a great play in the neutral zone to win a puck and carry it into the zone. He made a good little feed to Necas, who showed off some great hands to slot home his second goal in as many games to start the season.

The third period was a lot more of the same, as Carolina somewhat controlled the flow of play but for the most part things were relatively even. Both teams killed off some more penalties, and both goalies made some more good saves.

For the third straight period the only goal came in the final minutes of the frame, and this time it was Aho putting away his first of the season for the game winner. Brett Pesce made a good play to get the puck on the net, and Aho was there to put the puck past Reimer and give the Canes a 2-1 lead with just 1:58 left in the game.

The Canes’ western swing will continue in Seattle Monday night, as Carolina looks to move to 3-0 on the new year.