Recap: Hurricanes @ Maple Leafs 3.16.24

TORONTO -- Sebastian Aho tied the game with two goals in the final 1:32 of the third period, and the Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-4 in the shootout at Scotiabank Arena on Saturday.

“It was a great response from us and you need these kind of experiences moving on to lean on in these moments,” Aho said.

CAR@TOR: Aho scores goal against Ilya Samsonov

Aho also had an assist, Brent Burns and Jake Guentzel each had two assists, and Pyotr Kochetkov made 36 saves for the Hurricanes (41-20-6), who are 5-1-0 in their past six. Guenztel scored the only goal in the shootout.

“I give the guys a lot of credit. Obviously we dug in and had a good kind of finish,” Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “Not the best way to do it but I thought overall we will take the points, that’s for sure, and we had a great penalty kill. That was really the key in the game for us.”

CAR@TOR: Guentzel leads Hurricanes to shootout win

John Tavares had a goal and an assist, Morgan Rielly had two assists, and Ilya Samsonov made 36 saves for the Maple Leafs (38-19-9), who are 3-1-1 in their past five.

“We played a good game tonight,” Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe said. “Played [a good] enough game to get two points but we weren’t able to get those [penalty kills].”

Aho cut it to 4-3 on the power play at 18:28, redirecting a pass from Dmitry Orlov at the side of the net with Kochetkov pulled for the extra attacker.

Aho tied it 4-4 with six seconds left and Kochetkov pulled when he deflected Burns’ shot at the top of the goal crease.

“It’s tough,” said Samsonov, who had won four starts in a row and 10 of his previous 11. “We don’t have time to think about this because a lot of more games are coming. We play against Philadelphia and Washington back-to-back this week (on Tuesday and Wednesday). Just forget about today and focus for the next game.”

CAR@TOR: Aho's incredible tip-in with 6 seconds left

The Hurricanes killed off a slashing penalty on Guentzel at 2:13 of overtime to force the shootout.

“It feels good [to get the shootout] goal, especially taking a penalty in overtime,” Guentzel said. “The penalty kill did an unbelievable job. That’s just a lot of relief for me for them to kill it off and be able to come out and initiate and get one. You don’t feel good in the penalty box. You never want to put the team in that spot.”

The Maple Leafs went up 1-0 at 4:47 of the second period when Tavares took a stretch pass from TJ Brodie and scored on a breakaway.

William Nylander made it 2-0 on a breakaway at 6:27 when he backhanded a shot over Kochetkov’s blocker.

Nicholas Robertson, who played his first game since being recalled from Toronto of the American Hockey League on Monday, pushed it to 3-0 at 12:03 when he took a pass from Tavares and one-timed a shot in the slot high to the glove side. It was his first game since Feb. 29.

“I felt pretty good,” Robertson said. “The first period definitely rusty and some plays trying to get touches and keep it as simple as possible. The goal helps to get your confidence when you get your touches in, so I’m happy about that.”

CAR@TOR: Robertson, Tavares team up to light the lamp

The Hurricanes cut it to 3-1 at 13:27 when Jordan Martinook jammed in a rebound at the top of the crease off a shot from Burns.

Seth Jarvis pulled Carolina within 3-2 on the power play at 19:57 when he got the rebound of Guentzel’s shot and backhanded the puck over Samsonov’s outstretched right pad.

“Early in the second period, it wasn’t the best moment for us,” Aho said. “They’re a very highly skilled team that makes you pay. Some of them were nice plays, but at the same time, we can’t give them three breakaways.”

David Kampf pushed the lead to 4-2 at 2:55 of the third when he shot between Kotchetkov’s pads on a breakaway.

“I thought we gave them a little bit of free offense and they capitalized on that so we just have to clean that up and hopefully that doesn’t happen again,” Guentzel said.

NOTES: Carolina forward Teuvo Teravainen did not play because of an upper-body injury and also will sit out the game at the Ottawa Senators on Sunday. Brind’Amour is hopeful he’ll return during the week and said he doesn't think the injury is long term. … Hurricanes defenseman Brent Burns played his 1,400th NHL game, joining Ryan Suter (1,431) as the only players from the 2003 NHL Draft to reach the milestone. ... Carolina won a game after overcoming a multigoal deficit in the final 2:00 of regulation for the third time in franchise history (5-4 in overtime against the San Jose Sharks on Jan. 27, 2023; 3-2 in overtime against the Maple Leafs on Dec. 18, 2007). ... The Hurricanes were 2-for-5 on the power play; the Maple Leafs went 0-for-4.

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