Powered by four-point nights from both Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen, the Carolina Hurricanes topped the Boston Bruins, 5-3, on Whalers Night in Raleigh.
Aho and Teravainen each scored two goals, including one shorthanded tally apiece, and recorded two assists to help the Canes close out their five-game homestand with a win.
Here are five takeaways from Whalers Night.
Aho, who was born more than three months after Hartford played its final match, and Teravainen each had a whale of a game.
The Finnish duo combined for eight points, with each player recording two goals and two assists, matching career highs for points. Aho and Teravainen both factored into four of the Canes' five goals, and the two have hooked up for a point on the same goal 25 times this season.
Video: In the Room: Brind'Amour Postgame
"It was a good game for us. It's nice to produce some points, too, but a big win for us," Aho said. "I felt like the whole team was in the game. Everyone played really well."
"That was special. They were flying," head coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "It was nice to see them get rewarded."
At first, this one seemed like the same old tune for the Hurricanes.
Just 2:40 into the game, Torey Krug's point shot bounced around in the slot. Ryan Donato got a stick on it, and the puck popped up and bounced off Trevor van Riemsdyk into the net.
Later, after the Hurricanes failed to capitalize on 57 seconds of a 5-on-3 advantage and the remaining conventional 5-on-4 power play that followed, Steven Kampfer's wrist shot from the point had eyes through traffic to give the Bruins a 2-0 lead.
"It felt like the same old thing was going to happen. They got kind of a weird one to start the game. Bounced around," Brind'Amour said. "Then you get down 2-0. We were actually playing fine."
"Down 2-0, I'm sure you get those thoughts in your head like, 'Oh, God. This again,'" Aho said. "But it was really good to see that our team can come from down 2-0 against a good team."
The Hurricanes worked to get a bounce of their own just four minutes after falling in a two-goal hole. Teravainen tossed the puck toward the net - a pass, he said, that was looking for Aho darting toward the net, of course - that Charlie McAvoy gloved into his own net.
The Canes would take that.
Video: BOS@CAR: Teravainen has pass go in off defender
"That sometimes what we need - a lucky goal or a lucky bounce," Teravainen said. "We just worked hard. We got a few good bounces."
"The guys really dug in. They didn't hang their heads. They just kept at it," Brind'Amour said. "Then, we got a break to get on the scoresheet. Banged one off their D in front. That hasn't happened much this year, so it was nice to see."
With literal assists from Teravainen, Aho helped the Canes take over in the second period. On an early penalty kill, Teravainen forced a McAvoy turnover along the far boards. He then dished to Aho in the slot for the one-timer than trickled through Tuukka Rask and in the net.
Video: BOS@CAR: Aho squeaks puck by Rask for SHG
Six minutes later, it was Aho forcing another McAvoy turnover at the blue line, and the Canes took the puck the other way. Teravainen fed Aho in the middle of the ice for another one-timer and another goal to give the Canes a 3-2 lead.
Video: BOS@CAR: Aho rifles one-timer off Teravainen's feed
"When you score, you get more confidence. That's how it goes," Aho said. "I'm feeling pretty good right now, but it's not just me. My linemates helped me out a lot."
In the third period, Teravainen stretched the Canes' lead back to two goals with a shorthanded goal of his own. Rask misplayed the puck along the side of the net, and Aho nearly potted his third of the game. Instead, Teravainen was there to clean up the mess.
Video: BOS@CAR: Teravainen roofs his second off turnover
Justin Faulk was the only goal scorer for the Canes not named Aho or Teravainen. Off an offensive zone faceoff win past the midway point of the second period, Micheal Ferland pushed the puck up to Faulk at the point. His wrist shot beat Rask through traffic in front, his first goal since Oct. 22.
Video: BOS@CAR: Faulk buries wrist shot off the draw
"We'd hope that it means getting him a few more. He's had a lot of good looks this year," Brind'Amour said. "Maybe that's the one that can get him rolling."
Less than 24 hours after being shut out by the Pittsburgh Penguins, it felt as though the Canes returned to the ice with a renewed sense of energy - not an easy task, especially considering the rut the team had been in after winning just two of their nine previous games in December.
It didn't take long for the tone to be set. On his first shift of the game, Jordan Martinook laid out Brandon Carlo behind his own net. And though the Canes would fall down 2-0, they didn't mail in the final two-and-a-half periods. They just kept playing.
Credit that positive outlook and evident energy to the locker room, Brind'Amour said.
"The guys. They prepared today. They had their own little chat. Willy got them ready," Brind'Amour said. "You could see from the start they were engaged, even when we got down. That was nice to see. The level was engagement, really for 60 minutes, was there."
Video: Hurricanes Surge over Boston
The Canes capped their 5-3 victory with the patented Storm Surge celebration. After the clap in unison on the blue line, the team laid down on the ice. So, what exactly was that?
"We were whales," Aho explained.
"Yeah, exactly. Those ones," he said with a smile. "You're laughing, so I guess it was good."
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! The NHL rests from Dec. 24-26, and the Canes will be back in action in Washington on Dec. 27.
"I'd love to get some sleep. The guys at least gave me a few days where I don't have to freak out," Brind'Amour joked. "I can take a breath here, and then we've got to get right back to work. It was a great win, but we're obviously still not where we want to be."