The Bruins were without Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, but Sebastian Aho said earlier Thursday that the Hurricanes could still expect “a grind game” when the teams met that night in Boston.
The Hurricanes got just that — and had no trouble grinding out a win.
Teuvo Teravainen returned to the lineup and had three assists, Sebastian Aho scored twice, Jordan Staal ended his nearly half-season goal drought and Frederik Andersen had a 34-save shutout in Carolina’s 6-0 win.
The tone was set on special teams, with Carolina killing off two early penalties.
“The game can be flipped right there if they get a power play goal,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “The game’s way different. So that was a huge part of the game. (Andersen) was great, and then we’re able to settle down and get playing.”
When the Hurricanes got their chance on the power play, they converted.
Teravainen — back in the lineup after missing the last four games — took a shot that led to a rebound in front, and Vincent Trocheck cleaned it up for his 13th goal of the season.
“It’s always nice to help,” Teravainen said, “and it’s way more easier for me to be on the ice and help the team than watching the games from upstairs.”
The Bruins tried to turn the tide by getting physical with the Hurricanes, but Carolina matched that and more.
When Boston’s Charlie McAvoy took a run at Aho near center ice, Tony DeAngelo shrugged off the 30-pound weight difference and fought the Bruins defenseman.
“Tony stepping up, it just tells us who he is,” Aho said. “He’s a team guy and just a great team player.”
Brind’Amour took it a step further, praising a player whose character was questioned and in doubt when he was signed in the offseason.
“Tony steps up for everybody,” he said. “I mean, everybody. Gotta give him a lot of credit, he’s done nothing but great things since he got here and the guys love him.”
After the penalty-filled first period, the Hurricanes had a goal-filled second.
Andrei Svechnikov got his 18th goal of the season, picking a corner from the slot and beating Linus Ullmark (37 saves) to double Carolina’s lead.
Aho and Brett Pesce each scored to extend the lead to 4-0 after two periods. After Aho scored his second goal, on the power play, early in the third, the Hurricanes had two things left to do before ending their two-game winless streak.
The first was ending Staal’s 35-game scoring drought.
That came at 15:24 of the third period when Staal tipped a Brady Skjei shot in for his first goal since Oct. 29.
“It was a long time not scoring,” Staal said. “But we were winning a lot of hockey games. … We’re just trying to play the right way and do the right things and win games. But it’s definitely nice to get one.”
Brind’Amour said after the game, like he often does, that a player’s game isn’t measured in points. That doesn’t mean there wasn’t a celebration when Staal finally got his third goal of the season.
“We’ve all been there, where you can’t get one to go,” Brind’Amour said. “And obviously he was in one of those ruts, but you’ve got to give him a lot of credit because his game didn’t really change. … The measure for me of his success is how well the team’s doing.
“He was able to get one tonight, and that’s great. But let’s look at how we played tonight. That’s a direct reflection of your captain.”
The last order of business was getting Andersen his second shutout of the season. The Carolina goalie checked that box as well, blanking the Bruins for the second time this year and improving to 3-0-0 with 98 saves on 99 shots to help the Hurricanes complete the season sweep of a team that twice eliminated them from the playoffs.
“(That’s) a team that has taken what we wanted the past few years, so it doesn’t hurt,” Staal said of completing a sweep of the Bruins. “It always feels good winning in this building against a good team that plays well and plays hard. So we’ll take the win.”
Notes: Ethan Bear and Ian Cole were both plus-3 for the first time as Hurricanes. Bear played 18:15, the most minutes he’s logged since Nov. 18. … Svechnikov and Teravainen both finished with three points. It was Teravainen’s first three-point game of the season and Svechnikov’s second. … It was Aho’s sixth multigoal game of the season, tying him with four other players for the third most this season. Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl leads the league with 11 multigoal games, followed by Toronto’s Auston Matthews with eight. Aho had a career-high eight in 2019-20. The Hartford/Carolina franchise record is 14 by Blaine Stoughton with the 1979-80 Whalers. Jeff O’Neill and Eric Staal had nine with the Hurricanes in 2000-01 and 2005-06, respectively. … Aho reached the 20-goal mark for the sixth time in six NHL seasons.