Hurricanes blow past Flames

Carolina won 7-2 for its fifth win in the last six games

Hurricanes defenseman Brent Burns celebrates his goal with Jaccob Slavin and Brendan Lemieux during Carolina’s 7-2 win Sunday in Raleigh. (Karl B. DeBlaker / AP Photo)

RALEIGH — The Hurricanes plowed through the Flames on Sunday, scoring early and often in a 7-2 win at PNC Arena.

Seven different players scored — led by three-point nights by Sebastian Aho and Andrei Svechnikov — as Carolina scored its most goals in a regular season game since Nov. 10, 2022, against Edmonton.

Three observations

1. It was clear which team made two key deadline additions and which subtracted two top defensemen and a top-line winger.

Both teams were playing the back end of a back-to-back with travel, but the Flames looked sluggish while the Hurricanes seemed invigorated.

“That’s definitely right,” Svechnikov, who finished with a goal and two assists, said of the team being excited about the deadline additions of Jake Guentzel and Evgeny Kuznetsov. “Just kind of a new energy, and we know what kind of players they are — one of the best in this league, and it’s (exciting). We can’t wait to play more games.”

Defenseman Jalen Chatfield, who scored his sixth goal of the season and matched a career best with a plus-4 night, agreed.

“I feel that energy in the room,” he said. “The trade deadline, it’s a big part of the year. To pick up those two guys, it’s huge for our team.”

2. The Hurricanes set the tone with one of their most dominant periods of the season. Carolina outshot Calgary 16-2, had a 32-5 shot attempt edge at 5-on-5 and scored two beautiful goals — both involving Aho — in the first period.

On the first goal, Jordan Martinook carried the puck into the zone and dropped it to Aho, who was at the end of his shift. Aho undressed Flames defenseman Brayden Pachal and passed back to Martinook, who scored his 11th goal of the season at 6:30 of the first.

Aho was then the finisher on another give-and-go. After Pachal misplayed a cross-corner dump-in by Svechnikov, Aho and Teuvo Teravainen passed between each other three times before Aho fired the puck home for his 25th goal of the year.

Sometimes the Hurricanes are guilty of overpassing, but it worked out fine on Sunday.

“We had some good plays,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “A lot of times you overpass it, you’re right, you say (it) when it doesn’t go in. There’s a difference (when) the passes are there. When you’re forcing ’em, that’s kind of when you get a little frustrated with it.”

Carolina quickly built on the two-goal lead they had after 20 minutes with goals by Chatfield and Svechnikov (his 16th of the season) in the first 75 seconds of the second period to squash any hopes the Flames might have had for a comeback.

3. Kuznetzov continued to look comfortable with his new team, finishing his second game with the Hurricanes with one shot on goal and three shot attempts while filling in for the injured Jack Drury by centering a line with Stefan Noesen and Martin Necas.

He nearly scored in the first period, just missing getting one past Calgary goalie Dan Vladar (35 saves).

But Kuzentsov was fine not getting on the score sheet as long as his new team won.

“The points will come,” Kuznetsov said, “and I’m in a position (where) a win means more for me. (Necas) got five, six chances, (Noesen) got a few chances. That’s where I fit in, and that’s more than just points for me.”

Brind’Amour certainly seemed impressed with one of his new additions.

“The talent that Kuzy has, it’s evident,” he said. “I’m glad he’s on our team.”

Number to know

259 — Career points for Jaccob Slavin after he assisted on Brent Burns’ second period goal, giving him the most points by a defenseman in franchise history. His assist — the 212th of his career in 649 games over nine seasons — moved him past Justin Faulk, who totaled 258 points in 559 regular season games with Carolina over eight seasons.


Sebastian Aho, Hurricanes, center — Aho was part of a give-and-go goal not once, not twice but thrice on Sunday, setting up goals by Martinook and Svechnikov while scoring one of his own.

He could have a new winger as early as Tuesday with Guentzel nearing a return, but Aho was the best player on the ice Sunday. He carved up the Flames, particularly in the first period, and finished with three points — the seventh time this season he’s had least that many in a game.


Frederik Andersen, Hurricanes goalie — Andersen wasn’t called on much, facing just 19 shots — none of which came with the Flames within less than two goals. He did have one big but relatively harmless mistake, misplaying the puck and handing it to Flames center Yegor Sharangovich for an easy goal. It didn’t matter in a rout, but it’s the kind of mistake that can cost you a tight game.

They said it

“The more goals he gets, the more dollars he’s gonna get (at the) end of the year.”

— Hurricanes center Evgeny Kuznetsov on playing on a line with Martin Necas