Canes celebrate their victory over Caps
It was just like old times.
Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen connected on a goal just as they had done all season, a a pass from Aho to Teravainen tying the score in the second period.
Offense from Aho and Teravainen was something that was missing for most of this series, as the Carolina Hurricanes and Washington Capitals now head to a Game 7 in the Stanley Cup playoffs after the Hurricanes’ 5-2 win in Game 6 on Monday.
Aho and Teravainen were the Canes’ two best offensive players in the regular season. Aho, a 6-foot, 176-pound center, led the team with 83 points, while Teravainen, a 5-11, 191-pound winger was second on the team with 76 points.
But in this series, prior to Game 6, it had been almost as if they were non-existent. Coming into the game at PNC Arena, Aho had three points through five games, and Teravainen had two. Both had only one goal.
At times, particularly on the road, the Canes have had trouble producing offense, forcing Canes coach Rod Brind-Armour to experiment with different lines.
“I think we’ve been OK, but just OK,” Teravainen admitted. “We can be better.”
On Monday, in front of a loud crowd at PNC Arena, they were. With about 18 minutes left in the second period, Aho stole the puck from Washington Capitals defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler behind the net. Aho passed it to a cutting Teravainen, who shot it and scored with two defenders in front of him.
It was a big goal for the Canes, who trailed 2-1 at that point. From there, the Hurricanes scored three more goals and won 5-2, forcing a Game 7 in Washington.
“The best players have to be your best players, all year, but in the playoffs especially,” Brind’Armour said. “And those guys obviously contributed and had big games.”
The Canes, down a few players, need Aho and Teravainen to play aggressive and score in Game 7 if they want to get past the Capitals and advance to the second round. The Canes are 0-3 on the road in the playoffs and haven’t won in Washington all year.
When asked what they have to do to keep up their offensive production, Aho said, “nothing special.”
“Just play our own game,” he said. “Get the pucks deep and go get it.”