This time it was the Carolina Hurricanes’ night.
Sebastian Aho scored his first two NHL goals and added an assist while Jordan Staal and Teuvo Teravainen each added a goal and three assists as the Hurricanes topped the Washington Capitals 5-1 on Saturday at PNC Arena in the Metropolitan Division rivals’ first meeting of the season.
Staal’s first multi-point game of the season gave him 400 NHL points.
Victor Rask scored the other Hurricanes goal.
The Hurricanes, in last place in the Eastern Conference, snapped a three-game losing streak (0-2-1).
The rout happened one night after the team learned that left winger Bryan Bickell had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Bickell was placed on injured reserve on Saturday.
“It’s the real world, right?” Hurricanes coach Bill Peters said. “I liked seeing Bicks at the rink. He’s a good man, he’s got energy and the guys love him. There’s lots to love. Postgame they split the award; he got it and Sea-bass (Aho) got it. (Bickell) is a part of what we’re going to do moving forward one way or another.”
Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward (3-4-3) had 37 saves while Washington goalie Philipp Grubauer (2-1-0) stopped 20 shots.
Aho, a 19-year-old rookie from Finland, is tied for the team lead in assists with seven.
“The first goal was a huge shift for our line,” Aho said. “We played pretty well. I enjoy playing with (Staal and Teravainen). We forechecked pretty well and moved the puck quickly.”
The Hurricanes led 2-0 following a first period in which they outshot the visitors 15-6.
Washington took the lead on a rush at 12:02 of the first, as Evgeny Kuznetzov beat Ward on a centering pass from Dmitry Orlov.
But Aho needed just 35 seconds to retaliate, netting his first career goal by following Staal’s shot and beating Grubauer stick side. Teravainen had the secondary helper.
At 17:02 the same line struck again, with Teravainen taking Aho’s pass in the right circle and beating Grubauer high. Staal picked up his second assist.
“They’re a quick team, and when we made mistakes they made quick plays out of it,” Washington coach Barry Trotz said. “We didn’t do a good job taking care of the puck. I thought at the end of the first period it could have been 5-1.”
Staal made it 3-1 on a power play at 5:59 of the second, following Teravainen’s shot into an open stick side of the net. Brett Pesce had the second helper.
“I was really happy for Sebastian,” Staal said. “Obviously he’s a great player. Hopefully it’s one of many. Let’s hope we can keep up that kind of scoring. But (Aho and Teravainen) are pretty good players who work hard, find openings and can move the puck well. Obviously it’s one game, but I feel like it’s been coming for our team in general. We’ve been battling for a few games and haven’t been getting exactly what I wanted.”
Rask stretched it to 4-1 at 10:37, following Klas Dahlbeck’s blast off the end boards with Lee Stempniak on the secondary.
Aho added an empty-net goal from Teravainen and Staal with 3:50 left in the game.
Defenseman Matt Tennyson was called up from Charlotte on Saturday and made his Hurricanes debut.
Washington forward Justin Williams, who played five seasons for the Hurricanes and was a member of the 2006 Stanley Cup champions, was minus-2 in 9:38 of ice time.
NOTES – The Hurricanes’ next game, the third of their five-game homestand, is on Tuesday night against San Jose. … It was Carolina’s first game since defenseman Justin Faulk (upper body) was placed on injured reserve. Defenseman Jakub Nakladal was sent down to Charlotte on Saturday. … Defenseman Ryan Murphy and center Andrej Nestrasil were healthy scratches for the Hurricanes. … Washington’s next game is on Tuesday night at Columbus … The Capitals will visit the Hurricanes again on Dec. 16, while Carolina’s trips to Washington are on Jan. 23 and Feb. 7.