Aho, Teravainen goals in shootout finalize win
By Peter Koutroumpis
RALEIGH, N.C. – First Sebastian Aho, then Teuvo Teravainen netted shootout goals that finalized the Carolina Hurricanes’ 4-3 win over the Nashville Predators at PNC Arena on Sunday afternoon.
Josh Jooris, Victor Rask, and Justin Williams tallied goals for the Hurricanes in regulation before the Finns’ heroics claimed the second point and win for goaltender Scott Darling who made 32 saves throughout.
Viktor Arvidsson, Mattias Ekholm, and Craig Smith fueled the Nashville offense in front of netminder Juuse Saros who faced 36 shots from Carolina.
“I thought it was a high-end game,” Carolina head coach Bill Peters said.
“I think it might have been the best game we’ve been involved in all year between both teams.”
It was a back-and-forth affair as Peters predicted would be with two strong puck-possession teams off the draw.
The Hurricanes claimed a razor-thin edge in faceoffs – winning 51 percent with Jordan Staal (65%), Rask (60%), and Elias Lindholm (55%) leading the way over the dots.
The score was tied after one period following the game-opening five-hole slider from Jooris at 3:37, and the masterful stick-handling prowess of Arvidsson past Canes D-man Noah Hanifin and top-shelf finish over Darling 12 minutes later.
Ekholm gave Nashville the 2-1 lead on the power play at the 10:37 mark of the second before Rask tucked in a rebound following Lindholm’s tip towards Saros a minute later for his fourth of the season.
With the score even at two apiece to start the third, Williams converted for Carolina on the power play at 5:49 – the lone tally on four man-advantage opportunities earned throughout the game for the Hurricanes.
Smith’s eighth goal of the season pulled both teams even once more in regulation.
Skating to a scoreless overtime which included a critical penalty kill for the Hurricanes, the stage was set for the thrilling shootout finish.
Saros stopped Brock McGinn, but Darling denied opportunities from Kyle Turris and Filip Forsberg following Aho’s elusive wrist shot that gave Carolina the advantage.
With the chance to finish it off, the red-hot Teravainen roofed the puck under the crossbar for his first career shootout goal that ended the Hurricanes’ recent home stand with a win.
“Turbo’s been so hot,” Peters said.
“Turbo’s been outstanding offensively, his compete level’s been improved from last year to this year, and that’s what allows him to be successful. His skill level is undeniable.”
Notables: Rask scored a goal and notched an assist (1g, 1a) for his third multi-point game of the season…Carolina was 1-for-4 on the power play tonight and is 12-for-76 (15.8%) on the man-advantage this season. The Hurricanes were 1-for-2 on the penalty kill and are 41-for-53 (77.4%) on the kill this season…The Hurricanes are 8-1-1 this season when scoring first….Carolina now holds an 8-1-3-1 mark in 13 games against Nashville at PNC Arena.
Peter Koutroumpis: 401-323-8960, @pksport