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Recap: Canes Double Up Oilers, 6-3

Martinook nets game-winner in third, Aho scores twice

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes /

EDMONTON - Though the Carolina Hurricanes saw a 3-0 lead they built in the first period go by the wayside in the third, they responded with three unanswered goals to top the Edmonton Oilers, 6-3.

Jordan Martinook netted the game-winning goal in the third period, while Sebastian Aho followed up his hat trick with a two-goal performance.

Here are five takeaways from the first game of the Canes' road trip.

1. Three, Three, Three

Three goals for the Hurricanes. Three goals for the Oilers. Three goals for the Canes. A 6-3 final and two points for the Canes to begin this five-game road trip.

They'll take it, even if the back-and-forth nature of the game was a bit weird and hectic at times.

"We believe in this group," James Reimer said. "There are going to be momentum swings. That's how it is. That's how hockey is. You just stick with your game plan and trust it. If you execute, dig in and want it, usually it's yours."

The Canes built a 3-0 lead in the first period, only to see the Oilers chip away at it with a goal in the second and then two early in the third to draw the score even. Martinook's game-winner turned the tide, and the Canes hung three unanswered on the Oilers in the last 11 minutes of regulation.

"It's hockey. They're a skilled team over there. To think you're going hold that team, it's tough," Reimer said. "Marty with a massive goal, and we got 'er done."

2. A Tale of Two Thirds

It was only a matter of time before the league's top-ranked power play converted.

The Canes had tempted fate twice in the first period and escaped harm, but a few too many penalties early in the third cost them - although it could have been much worse.

A bouncing puck ended up on Jaccob Slavin's blade, and he lifted it over the glass in his own zone just 21 seconds into the third period. Just 38 seconds later, Teuvo Teravainen got his stick high, and the Canes were suddenly tasked with killing off an extended 5-on-3 advantage for the Oilers.

The Canes escaped the first kill. They even somehow escaped a Connor McDavid penalty shot, awarded when the officials ruled Brett Pesce covered the puck with his hand in the crease. McDavid didn't even get a shot off; the puck rolled off his stick.

"I must have intimidated him. I really scared him," Reimer joked. "He probably saw half the net and didn't know what to do."

Then, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins tapped in a pass from Leon Draisaitl, the inevitable power-play goal. Not even three minutes later, Zack Kassian scored his second goal of the game to tie the game at three.

"We were kind of in trouble there," Aho said. "They pushed really hard."

The Canes, though, weathered the storm.

Before the midway point of the third period, Jordan Martinook hopped on a loose puck in the slot and scored his second of the season to the delight of his family in the crowd and his teammates on the bench.

Video: CAR@EDM: Martinook breaks tie with wrist shot

"Hometown hero," Aho smiled.

"That was a huge play in the game because everything had flipped at that point," head coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "We needed a couple of shifts, and he came out and got a goal. That settled us down a little."

That one felt good.

"Yeah, it did. It felt real good, especially with the way the game was going. It turned the tide," Martinook said. "It kind of stopped the bleeding there and got momentum going our way."

Aho added the team's third power-play goal of the game just about three minutes later, and then Dougie Hamilton scored a long-range goal late in regulation. The rest is history.

3. Special Teams Swings the First

Coming into the game, the Oilers owned the league's top-ranked power play (32.3%) and second-ranked penalty kill (87.0%).

The Hurricanes, who came into the game ranked ninth on the power play (21.5%) and third on the penalty kill (85.6%) were 2-for-2 on both the power play and penalty kill in the first period and finished the night 3-for-4 on the power play and 4-for-5 on the penalty kill.

"That gave us the win," Aho said.

Nino Niederreiter netted the team's first power-play goal at the 17:58 mark of the first period, as Jake Gardiner put the puck on his tape for the redirection.

Video: CAR@EDM: Niederreiter tips in Gardiner's shot for PPG

Then, with just 3.7 seconds left in the period, Ryan Dzingel sniped a shot past Mikko Koskinen to put the Canes ahead 3-0 before the buzzer sounded.

Video: CAR@EDM: Dzingel wires wrister past Koskinen for PPG

"It wasn't a great first period by us, actually, but we were able to get a couple power-play goals and kill a couple penalties, which was very good to get out ahead of them," Brind'Amour said.

4. Aho's 100th (and 101st)

Sebastian Aho scored career goals 97, 98 and 99 against Minnesota on Saturday, and it took him just four minutes and 15 seconds in Edmonton to net his 100th career goal to get the Canes on the board first.

And, of course he was on the receiving end of another beautiful assist from Teuvo Teravainen, who assisted on 49 of Aho's first 100 NHL goals.

The Canes worked the puck around the perimeter and up to the point. Brett Pesce one-touched it into the slot where Teravainen then laid the puck off to the right side of the net. Aho circled around the cage and one-timed the puck past Koskinen.

Video: CAR@EDM: Aho buries Teravainen's perfect feed

But did Teravainen actually spot Aho?

"No. Maybe," Aho said. "I would like to say yes, but even Turbo can't say that, I think. I don't know. You should ask him, actually. He might lie a little bit."

Aho added his 101st goal in the third period, a power-play goal off a tap-in from an Andrei Svechnikov dish.

Video: CAR@EDM: Aho finishes great passing play for PPG

5. Dougie From Downtown & Reimer Gets Feisty

That Dougie Hamilton "long-rage goal" I referenced in the second takeaway? Yeah, he scored on a slapshot from the red line. Hamilton used a heady head fake to get Koskinen moving ever so slightly out of his crease and then rifled a shot to the twine.

Video: CAR@EDM: Hamilton beats Koskinen from center ice

"Dougie's got those tricks in his bag," Brind'Amour said. "He said it was going to work once this year, so I guess that was it."

Another oddity: James Reimer took a page out of Petr Mrazek's book and got into a scuffle after the whistle. Zack Kassian came in late with a poke check, and Reimer was none too pleased.

"I was kind of getting bumped all night, which is fine, it's hockey. But I thought [Kassian] kind of came in late there. I didn't even know who it was. I just saw somebody slash me, so I just punched him. I looked up and it was him, and I was like, 'Oh, I probably could have picked someone who wasn't as tough as he is,'" Reimer said. "Thankfully the boys stepped in so I didn't get my face punched in."

Clearly, the locker room was in a good mood after that victory.

Up Next

The Hurricanes head to Vancouver to face the Canucks on Thursday night.

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