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game recap

Sebastian Aho helps Hurricanes defeat Oilers

Forward breaks tie in third period, Cam Ward makes 24 saves for Carolina

by Kurt Dusterberg / NHL.com Correspondent

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Sebastian Aho scored a power-play goal to break a tie in the third period, and Cam Ward made 24 saves to lift the Carolina Hurricanes to a 2-1 win against the Edmonton Oilers at PNC Arena on Friday. 

The Hurricanes (23-20-7) won their second straight after ending a five-game losing streak. 

Aho's goal came on Carolina's only man-advantage of the game. After sustained pressure, Justin Faulk set up Aho for a one-timer in the right circle at 1:48, the rookie's fourth goal in two games.

 

WATCH: All Oilers vs. Hurricanes highlights

 

 

"I usually am looking to [make] a pass," Aho said. "I just took it and I'm glad it went in."

Cam Talbot made 21 saves for the Oilers (28-18-8), who lost their third in a row. The loss was Talbot's first in five NHL games against Carolina.

"In an 82-game schedule, the top teams go through spells where it doesn't go your way," Oilers coach Todd McLellan said. "We were winning the games three weeks ago, and now we're finding a way to be one goal short. So we'll fix it."

Jordan Staal gave the Hurricanes a 1-0 lead with his 11th goal of the season at 11:36 of the first period. Staal beat Talbot between the legs after quick passes from Jaccob Slavin and Elias Lindholm. 

Video: EDM@CAR: Aho rips a slapper from right circle for PPG

Connor McDavid's 18th goal tied the game at 8:04 of the second. The Oilers captain collected Oscar Klefbom's long pass at the blue line before using his body to hold off Lindholm and beat Ward with a backhand. McDavid was free in the neutral zone after breaking his stick and going to the bench for a new one. 

"We maintained [McDavid] pretty well," Slavin said. "Obviously he's going to get chances every game with his speed, but I think we did a good job limiting his time."

The Hurricanes controlled play over the final seven minutes, rolling four lines that pressured the Oilers and interrupted their breakouts.

"That's always the plan, to play in their end, especially with the lead," Staal said. "That's always a good thing. We did a lot of good things, especially in that third period."

 

Goal of the game

Lindholm not only made the pass to Staal for the goal, but he also made a short aerial pass to Aho in the neutral zone to avoid Klefbom's stick.

Video: EDM@CAR: Staal bangs home a nice dish from Lindholm

 

Save of the game 

During an Edmonton power play in the first period, Ward fought off Leon Draisaitl's redirect with his chest before using his blocker to knock the puck away from the slot.

Video: EDM@CAR: Ward denies Draisaitl's tip-in attempt

 

Highlight of the game

McDavid used his strength to block out a defender and his skill to lift the puck under the crossbar on the backhand.

Video: EDM@CAR: McDavid roofs incredible backhand shot

 

Unsung performance of the game 

Carolina's penalty kill was tested three times in the first two periods. The Oilers managed seven shots and moved the puck well, but the Hurricanes held their own against the NHL's fifth-best road power play (24.7 percent).

 

They said it

"You've got to believe in what you do as a team. We were playing hard, we were hanging onto pucks and playing strong. We had good shifts from all four lines. That's what we need, everyone finding a way to contribute. That's how you get wins." -- Hurricanes coach Bill Peters

 

"There's obviously a sense of urgency now. We understand that in a playoff race things change quickly. Tonight I thought we did a lot of good things. A little bit unlucky, a few posts late in the game. I don't think anyone is panicked or anything like that, but we've got to find a way to win games." -- Oilers forward Connor McDavid

 

"Nobody is happy that we lost. We're not a young, young team. The players understand when they give each other a pretty good effort and they empty the tank on the ice surface. They understand when the breaks don't go your way and the other team gets in the way sometimes." -- Oilers coach Todd McLellan

 

Need to know

McDavid is the first player to reach 60 points this season. He did not have a point the past two games and has never gone three games without a point in his NHL career. ... Klefbom blocked four shots in a game-high 26:47. ... Defenseman Ron Hainsey played 5:28 of Carolina's six minutes shorthanded. ... Ward has allowed four goals in the past three games. … Oilers defenseman Matt Benning left at 5:24 of the first period after a collision with Viktor Stalberg behind the Edmonton net. Benning's head hit Stalberg's chest, and he left the ice covering his nose with a towel. He did not return.

 

What's next

Oilers: At the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday (1 p.m. ET; SN, RDS, NHL.TV)

Hurricanes: At the New York Islanders on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; FS-CR, MSG+, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Aho, Ward power Hurricanes to 2-1 victory over Oilers

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