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game recap

Hurricanes ease past Capitals

Jordan Staal, Teuvo Teravainen each get four points to help end three-game skid

by Kurt Dusterberg / NHL.com Correspondent

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Carolina Hurricanes have found a line that clicks.

Jordan Staal and Teuvo Teravainen each had four points to help the Hurricanes to a 5-1 win against the Washington Capitals at PNC Arena on Saturday.

Rookie linemate Sebastian Aho, 19, scored his first two NHL goals and had an assist for the Hurricanes (4-6-4).

 

WATCH: All Capitals vs. Hurricanes highlights

 

"That should be a good line," Hurricanes coach Bill Peters said. "There's a lot of hockey sense there. You've got a veteran guy down the middle who wins a lot of faceoffs, so you start with the puck. Teravainen seems like he's fitting in and getting comfortable, and [Aho], now that he's got on the board, I think he's going to take a step forward."

Cam Ward made 20 saves to get his third win of the season.

The Capitals (9-4-1) had a season-low 21 shots on goal. They have lost two of their past three games.

Carolina pressured Washington from the start of the game, forcing Philipp Grubauer to make several difficult saves. But Evgeny Kuznetsov gave the Capitals a 1-0 lead at 12:02 of the first period, taking a pass in the slot from Dmitry Orlov and beating Ward.

Video: WSH@CAR: Staal deposits a rebound for PPG

Aho tied the game 1-1 with his first NHL goal at 12:37. After making a pass from behind the goal line, Aho circled the net and finished a rebound from Staal's shot from the slot.

"It was a pretty big goal for me," said Aho, who had six assists through his first 13 games. "I feel so good. It was a good shift for our line and it ends up my first NHL goal."

Aho set up Teravainen for a one-timer from the right hash marks to give Carolina a 2-1 lead at 17:01.

"I thought in the first period, it could have been 5-1," Washington coach Barry Trotz said. "Grubauer, for me in the first period, was the first star. We didn't have a lot of execution, a lot of juice tonight. We were flat, and they didn't let us back in the game."

Carolina took a 3-1 lead at 5:59 of the second period with a power-play goal from Staal. Grubauer stopped a shot from Teravainen, but the rebound came right to Staal, who converted from the left side of the net.

Victor Rask's sixth goal of the season gave the Hurricanes a 4-1 lead at 10:37. After Klas Dahlbeck shot wide, Rask chipped the rebound in before Grubauer could cover the left post.

Aho scored into an empty net with 3:50 left in the third period to make it 5-1.

Video: WSH@CAR: Rask beats Grubauer from sharp angle

 

Goal of the game

Aho's first NHL goal was 14 games in the making. The Finnish forward had numerous scoring chances through the first 13 games, but he finally scored, somewhat awkwardly, while falling to the ice.

Video: WSH@CAR: Aho buries rebound for his first NHL goal

 

Save of the game

Grubauer had a heavier workload compared to Ward, keeping the Capitals in the game. Late in the first period, he stopped Jeff Skinner with a glove save on a backhand attempt to the far post.

 

Highlight of the game

Teravainen's goal showcased the chemistry of his line. Staal started the play by slipping a pass between his legs to Aho, who quickly set up Teravainen for a perfectly executed shot.

Video: WSH@CAR: Teravainen rips a one-timer past Grubauer

 

Unsung moment of the game

Aho's first goal was a fine personal milestone, but answering Washington's first goal 35 seconds later was critical for the Hurricanes, who otherwise had nothing to show for their first-period dominance.

 

They said it

"It was a very sound game by everybody against a very tough team. We knew they got in late last night from Chicago, had a tough [3-2 win] in overtime. We wanted to make sure we put the heat on them as quickly as we could. I thought we did tonight." -- Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward

 

"We are a good team. I believe in our group in the locker room. We've just got to continue to get better as we go. It's taken longer than we would like. Our bugaboo has been playing 60 minutes. The next bugaboo is getting all 18 [skaters] and two [goaltenders] to contribute on a given night. Tonight we were very close to that." -- Hurricanes coach Bill Peters

 

"There's not a team in this League that can't beat you any night. It's that close. When you play back-to-backs, and it's no excuse, you have to be mentally sharp and mentally tough. You've got to play smarter, and we didn't do that." -- Capitals coach Barry Trotz

 

Video: WSH@CAR: Kuznetsov beats Ward with a wicked wrister

 

Need to know

The Hurricanes had a season-high 38 shots. ... Washington has scored the first goal 11 times in 14 games. ... Carolina forwards Derek Ryan and Brock McGinn made their season debuts after being recalled from Charlotte of the American Hockey League and defenseman Matt Tennyson made his Hurricanes debut.

 

What's next

Capitals: At the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; CSN-DC, FS-O, NHL.TV)

Hurricanes: Home against San Jose Sharks on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; CSN-CA, FS-CR, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Aho scores first NHL goal as Canes beat the Caps 5-1

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