RALEIGH — The reunited TSA line of Teuvo Teravainen, Jordan Staal and Sebastian Aho had totaled 19 points in their last three games. It took the trio just 3:40 to score twice Sunday at PNC Arena, and they again dominated in totaling six points in the Hurricanes’ 4-2 win over the Islanders.
Aho scored for the fourth straight game on an early power play via a pass from Teravainen at 1:50, then Aho returned the favor with a drop pass on Teravainen’s seventh of the season. In the second period, Teravainen got a power play goal of his own, with Aho getting the secondary assist.
“It’s all about confidence, I think,” Teravainen said. “We feel good about ourselves, and it’s always more fun to play with a smile and have some fun out there.”
Teravainen, with eight goals and 11 assists on the season, is likely on his way to being one of the NHL’s Three Stars of the Week, having scored five times and adding five assists in leading Carolina (9-6-4) to three wins in four games this week.
“He’s dangerous, right?” Hurricanes coach Bill Peters said. “He has to shoot. He’s got a real good release. He’s actually probably an underrated shot — people don’t see it often enough, right?
“But he’s got a real quick release, but it’s heavy, too,” Peters added. “It’s a heavy shot and I think now that he’s getting rewarded with it, we should be able to keep him on that mindset as a winger shooting pucks and being dangerous and going to the net.”
While Teravainen and the Hurricanes were filling up the Islanders’ net, Cam Ward was keeping the puck out of his.
Ward improved to 3-2 on the season with a .922 save percentage, making several spectacular stops among his 27 saves.
“Well, yeah, I’m locked in,” Ward said of some of sequences. “I thought at times it was a bit scrambley, but it’s a matter of competing and battling and not giving up on a puck. There’s some odd situations where they had some really good looks, and you’re just kind of diving over there. It may not be pretty all the time, but as long as you’re keeping the puck out of the net that’s all that matters.
For Peters, he got solid performances on back-to-back nights from both goalies — Scott Darling allowed just one goal on 25 shots in Carolina’s 3-1 win in Buffalo Saturday, and the Hurricanes have nine points in their last six games.
“When we talked prior to the weekend he just said, ‘Whenever you call my number I’m ready to play. I’ll play. I’m ready,’” Peters said. “And he is ready. I give him a lot of credit that way he’s handled the situation and the way he’s been a good teammate and a good partner for Darls. … We need both goalies because we get busy. On the back to backs, I think it was important that he played tonight, and he did more than his job.”
The Islanders (11-7-2) had seven power play opportunities, but couldn’t convert until the final chance with just over six minutes remaining in the game. New York captain John Tavares’ redirection rattled in to cut Carolina’s lead to two.
Other than that, the Islanders had a hard time finding an answer for Ward. Nick Leddy’s first period goal, scored when he snuck between Marcus Kruger and Jaccob Slavin and picked the corner over Ward’s right shoulder to make it 2-1 at 10:44 of the first, was the only other one to get past the former Conn Smythe winner.
On the other bench was fellow 2006 Stanley Cup champion Doug Weight, now the Islanders coach, and Andrew Ladd, Ward’s close friend and also a teammate from that championship team.
Ward saved his most spectacular sequence for Ladd, who rushed in shorthanded but was upended by a sliding Ward, who then got his feet and snatched a shot from Tavares and flipped the puck away with his glove.
“I did like a baseball slide and turned the double play, I guess,” Ward said. “It was kind of a weird sequence, but no warm, no foul.”
Ward had chatted up Ladd during the pregame stretch, but surely neither expected their meet up in the Hurricanes zone.
“He’s had my number many times over his career,” Ward said. “He’s a guy obviously I respect a lot and a good friend of mine and [it’s] always a tough challenge to play against him.
Notes: Rask and Haydn Fleury were healthy scratches. … Elias Lindholm, playing center with Rask in the press box, scored the other Carolina goal off a no-look pass from Phil Di Giuseppe. … Derek Ryan won nine of 10 faceoffs, and Carolina held an overall 34-22 edge. … Teravainen and Aho combined for 10 of Carolina’s 32 shots. … Slavin was credited with seven blocked shots. … Jaroslav Halak started for the Islanders, making 28 saves.