Three nights after dropping a disappointing game in Brooklyn, the Carolina Hurricanes returned the favor in a 4-2 win over the New York Islanders.
Teuvo Teravainen (2g, 1a) and Sebastian Aho (1g, 2a) each had three-point nights, and Cam Ward made 27 saves in the Canes' fifth win in their last seven games.
"It was a good weekend. I liked the way we played today," head coach Bill Peters said. "I liked the way we started. That's part of what we like to do and part of our foundation. We definitely did that today."
"We knew it was going to be a tough test. We were real solid against Buffalo. Back-to-backs can really test you. I thought our guys came out in the first period and gave us some insurance getting the lead," Ward said. "All in all, we can be happy with the way the weekend went."
Here are five takeaways from tonight's Metropolitan Division match-up.
The Hurricanes' line of Aho-Staal-Teravainen, the "TSA line" if you will, has been dynamic, especially in the last four games.
Through the team's last 12 periods, the three have combined for 25 points (9g, 16a). In that stretch, Teravainen has five goals and five assists, Aho has four goals and five assists and Jordan Staal has six assists.
"It's been fun to play with those guys, for sure. I think we're getting a couple of lucky bounces, but we're working hard, and that's why we're getting those," Teravainen said. "We just go out and play and not think too much."
Aho opened the scoring in tonight's game with his fourth goal in as many games, this coming after he went without a goal in his first 15.
"Everybody got pretty excited when he got his first, and now he's scoring every game," Teravainen said of his linemate and countryman. "I don't think he's changing anything."
Teravainen now leads the Canes in points with 19 (8g, 11a) in as many games. An 82-point pace is likely not sustainable, but Teravainen seems well on his way to a breakout season offensively.
"He's dangerous. He has to shoot," Peters said. "He's got a real good release. It's probably an underrated shot."
Three games after netting his first-career hat trick, Teravainen recorded his third multi-goal game of the season. Teravainen's first tally put the Canes up 2-0 just 3:40 into the game, as his shot bounced off the skate of Adam Pelech and knuckled past Jaroslav Halak.
Video: NYI@CAR: Teravainen scores on deflected wrist shot
Teravainen netted his second goal on the Canes' second power play of the game late in the second period. Justin Faulk's shot ricocheted off the end boards, and Teravainen was there to roof the puck, so much so that the official didn't immediately signal a goal. Before replay was even initiated, the Canes celebrated their fourth goal of the game and flew the bench.
"It's all about confidence. We feel good about ourselves," Teravainen said. "It's always more fun to play with a little smile and have some fun out there."
Video: NYI@CAR: Teravainen buries carom off boards for PPG
How good was Cam Ward tonight?
"Oh, he was lights out. I thought he was outstanding. Big saves," Peters said. "He was dialed in."
Video: NYI@CAR: Ward makes great saves, Ryan clears puck
With the acquisition and signing of Scott Darling, Ward has accepted a lesser role this season for the first time since his rookie year. Not only has he handled it with professional grace, but he's also been brilliant when called upon, and tonight was no different.
"He's a quality human being, as you guys all know. He's dialed in," Peters said. "Mentally sharp. Physically he's been excellent. … I give him a lot of credit with the way he's handled the situation and been a good teammate and partner for Darls. They've got a real good relationship, and that's huge for us. We need both of them."
Video: NYI@CAR: Ward makes three outstanding saves
Ward had a number of highlight-reel-worthy sequences tonight, including one in the second period in which he made a save with the top of his right pad (with the assist to Derek Ryan clearing out the puck in the crease) and followed it up with another dandy on a backhander in the slot.
"A couple of real nice old-school saves," Teravainen said. "It was fun to see him good out there."
"You just want to take care of your own business," Ward said. "It was a good atmosphere in the home building. It was a nice to play a home game and hear the fans cheering."
After a stretch of not scoring a power-play goal in five straight games, the Canes power play now has tallied four goals on the man advantage in the last four games. The man advantage was 2-for-2 on its first two chances of the game tonight.
Aho got things started just 1:50 into the game when he hammered home a feed from Teravainen, who then added a power-play tally of his own in the second period.
Video: NYI@CAR: Aho cranks in one-timer for power-play goal
"It's good for those guys to get rewarded," Peters said. "They've put their time in and worked at it. They know it needs to become better."
"It's been a little struggle, so finally it's paying off," Teravainen said. "When we get those chances, we want to make sure if we don't score that we have a couple good chances and build on those chances."
The Hurricanes made a pair of lineup changes heading into tonight's game, scratching Victor Rask and first-year defenseman Haydn Fleury.
Rask has tallied five points (3g, 2a) this season and has gone without a point in seven straight games.
"We've got to help Victor right now. We've got to help him. We need Victor. We've got to get him back to where he was and even higher. He's still a young guy with a big upside, so we need to find a way to make it work," Peters explained. "Does he need to be better? Yes. Does he know that? Yes. Can he be better? For sure. He knows that. We believe in him, and we'll help him get better, support him and get him with the right people to make him effective."
Scratching Rask also gave the Canes the ability to get Josh Jooris back in the lineup after he sat out Saturday night's game with a lower-body injury and get a look at Lindholm in the middle of the ice.
Video: NYI@CAR: Lindholm buries nice feed from Di Giuseppe
"It's always hard when you have to do that, but you have to do what you think is best for the group," Peters said. "We needed a win today. We know the importance of this time of year. We have to accumulate points and establish a quality home record."
Fleury had played in all 18 of the Canes' games this season, but watching one from a different vantage point could be very beneficial for the rookie blue-liner.
"This our third set of back-to-backs," Peters said. "His game has dropped off a little bit on the back-to-back, so that's understandable. That's what happens with young guys. We talked about it today already. He was good with it, and I expect him to get right back in. As a young guy, first year in the National Hockey League, missing the odd game isn't the end of the world. But his play has been very good."
The Hurricanes will play their fourth straight game against a team from New York when they host the New York Rangers on Thanksgiving Eve.