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game recap

Sebastian Aho scores twice in Hurricanes win

Forward gets two power-play goals in third period against Rangers; Cam Ward makes 40 saves for Carolina

by Kurt Dusterberg / NHL.com Correspondent

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Sebastian Aho scored two power-play goals in the third period to lift the Carolina Hurricanes to a 4-3 win against the New York Rangers at PNC Arena on Thursday.

Aho tied the game 3-3 at 9:04 off a pass from Teuvo Teravainen, then Jordan Staal set up Aho for his 20th of the season for a 4-3 lead at 12:28.

The Hurricanes had squandered a one-goal lead after the first period on a pair of Mika Zibanejad power-play goals.

 

WATCH: All Rangers vs. Hurricanes highlights

 

"It has been a tough stretch here," said Hurricanes coach Bill Peters, whose team had gone 3-7-2 in the previous 12 games. "Tonight we found a way. Once we got in the flow of the game I liked our team. There was some offense here tonight, which is important."

Cam Ward made 40 saves for the Hurricanes (27-27-10).

"I was excited to play tonight," said Ward, who was 0-4-2 in his previous six starts. "For the most part I felt really comfortable. It's been a while for myself personally to get a win, and that's why we play. You want to feel good after a win."

Antti Raanta made 26 saves for the Rangers (43-23-2), who had won five straight on the road.

"They started getting the puck deep and they started putting pressure on the wall," New York coach Alain Vigneault said. "We didn't make the board plays that we needed to make and they got some real good looks."

The Rangers took a 1-0 lead at 7:24 of the first period on a 5-on-3 power play. Derek Stepan fed a pass from behind the net to Chris Kreider, who scored his 26th of the season from the slot. Derek Ryan was serving a double-minor for a high stick that cut Kevin Hayes, and Elias Lindholm was in the box for tripping.

Video: NYR@CAR: Aho wires home PPG through traffic

Carolina answered with two goals in 29 seconds. Jeff Skinner made it 1-1 after Victor Rask forced a turnover at the blue line and fed Skinner in the low slot for a backhand under Raanta's glove at 13:15.

Valentin Zykov, making his NHL debut for Carolina, made it 2-1 at 13:44. After Aho flipped a shot at the net, Zykov found the puck in the crease and tucked a backhand inside the left post.

"I expected it to be not the prettiest one, but it's a goal," Zykov said. "That's all that matters."

Zibanejad scored twice in the second period to put New York on top. He was one of three Rangers who went to the net to follow Stepan's shot, and he swept the puck in at 7:16 to tie the game 2-2.

Zibanejad scored from the high slot at 16:42 to give the Rangers a 3-2 lead. Jay McClement partially fanned on a clearing attempt, leaving the puck on the stick of the Rangers forward, who beat Ward between the blocker and the body.

Video: NYR@CAR: Zibanejad nets his second PPG of the period

 

Goal of the game

Staal calmly set up the game-winner with a pass across the slot for Aho, who one-timed the puck into an open net.

Video: NYR@CAR: Aho caps off passing play for second PPG

 

Save of the game 

With the game tied 3-3 in the third period, Raanta stopped Skinner with a left-pad save at 11:29, then moved laterally to fend off his rebound with the blocker two seconds later.

 

Highlight of the game

Zykov wasn't shy about going to the net, where he got position on the New York defense for his first NHL goal.

Video: NYR@CAR: Zykov scores in his NHL debut 

 
Unsung performance of the game 

Staal had two assists and won 13 of 20 faceoffs (65 percent). He played 19:44, including 2:54 on the power play and 3:18 shorthanded.

 

They said it

"It's a nice number, I guess. I didn't have any goals before I got here, and I didn't think about it. I just want to get some more goals. The first 20 games were pretty tough for me, but after that I got more comfortable and got some confidence." -- Hurricanes forward Sebastian Aho on scoring his 20th goal in his rookie season

 

"He was good right out of the gate. You're seeing a quiet confidence. He's a quiet kid, a humble kid. He's a pro already. He's a valuable player for our team and he will be for years to come." -- Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward on Sebastian Aho

 

Need to know

Stepan has gone 23 games without a goal, but he has 10 assists during the stretch. ... Aho is the third rookie to score at least 20 goals for the Hurricanes (Skinner, 31 in 2010-11; Shane Willis, 20 in 2000-01). ... Zykov became the 11th player in Hurricanes history to score in his NHL debut.

 

What's next

Rangers: At the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NHL.TV)

Hurricanes: Host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; CBC, FS-CR, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Aho's two power-play goals lead 'Canes past Rangers

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