RALEIGH Once the door cracked open, Sebastian Aho barged through it. He took his linemates with him.The Carolina Hurricanes rookie got his first NHL goal in the first period and added an empty netter, teaming up with Jordan Staal and Teuvo Teravainen for a big night in Carolina’s 5-1 win Saturday over the Washington Capitals at PNC Arena.”A pretty big goal for me,” the quiet rookie, who finished with three points, said after the game.Staal and Teravainen each had four-point nights, registering a goal and three assists each, but both were happiest for their 19-year-old new linemate.”Obviously it took him a little while,” Staal said. “He’s a great player, so hopefully one of many.”Aho redirected Teravainen’s shot with 3:50 left in the game for his second goal with Washington goalie Philipp Grubauer on the bench for an extra attacker. The puck looked like it was headed to the net without Aho’s help, but Teravainen didn’t hold any grudges.”I think he earned that puck and the goal,” Teravainen said. “It’s good for him.”The Hurricanes (4-6-4) had nine of the game’s first 13 shots, but despite a lot of zone time Carolina failed to score on their first power play of the night. Washington (9-4-1) immediately took advantage when Evgeny Kuznetsov was left alone in the slot and beat Cam Ward to make it 1-0 at 12:02. Aho responded just 35 seconds later with his long-awaited first of the season.Aho found Teravainen to Grubauer’s right, and Teravainen one-touched a pass to Jordan Staal in the slot. Grubauer made one of many stellar saves he made in the first, but Aho found the rebound nearly below the red line and sharp-angled the puck in to tie it.With that, the Hurricanes were off and running.The trio, playing their first game as a line, connected again when Aho helped Jaccob Slavin keep the puck in the zone, setting off a sequence that saw Staal feed Aho, who found Teravainen alone in front to make it 2-1 at 17:01 of the first.”We’re trying to find some solutions, and tonight that was a very good line and it should be a good line,” coach Bill Peters said. “There’s a lot of hockey sense there. You’ve got an older, veteran guy down the middle, wins a lot of faceoffs so you get started with the puck. And then Teravainen seems like he’s kind of fitting in and getting comfortable and we think he’s playing with a lot of confidence. And Sea Bass (Aho), now that he’s gotten on the board, I think is going to take a step also.”Staal and Teravainen then each got their third point when Staal scored on the power play nearly six minutes into the second period. Victor Rask got his sixth goal of the season at the game’s midway point, pushing the lead to 4-1.Carolina outshot the Capitals 38-21, following up a 16-6 first period shot advantage with an equally dominant second period.”We didn’t deviate. We didn’t change much,” Peters said. “We played more of a complete game, so that’s a promising sign moving forward.” Three Hurricanes made their season debuts after being recalled from Charlotte: forwards Derek Ryan and Brock McGinn, and defenseman Matt Tennyson. It was also the team’s first game since it was announced forward Bryan Bickell has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.”I’ll tell you what, yeah. It’s the real world, right?” Peters said when asked if the team rallied in support of Bickell. “I liked seeing Bicks today at the rink. He’s a good man, he’s got energy. The guys love him, and there’s lots to love.”Bickell had one goal in seven games with Carolina this season after coming with Teravainen from Chicago in a trade.”It’s hard to take,” Staal said of the news. “Even for myself, close to the same age, both with two girls at home. It could very easily be me, so it’s very hard to swallow. Obviously, Bicks is a guy that’s strong-willed and he’s going to keep fighting and hopefully he can get better and start playing for us again.”Peters said the team split the postgame award, giving it to both Aho and Bickell.NotesStaal and Teravainen each came into with one assist on the season, and both upped that total to four with their three-assist nights. … It was the first four-point night of Teravainen’s career. He had one three-point game previously, a two-goal, one-assist game with Chicago last December. … It was the third four-point game of Staal’s career. He previously had one with Pittsburgh, and his last was with Carolina on Jan. 9, 2014, against Toronto. … Rask, who opened the season with an eight-game point streak followed by four games without a point, has now scored goals in consecutive games. … Ward stopped 20 of 21 shots to improve to 3-4-3 on the season. … Saturday marked the first time this season the Hurricanes allowed just one goal.
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RALEIGH If people didn’t know who Carolina rookie winger Sebastian Aho was before the All-Star break, they sure do now.The 19-year-old became the first Hurricanes rookie to register a hat trick in more than […]
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