Hurricanes score twice in 37 seconds, keep Canucks winless
VANCOUVER — Sebastian Aho and Jesper Fast scored 37 seconds apart early in the third period, and the Carolina Hurricanes kept the Vancouver Canucks winless with a 3-2 victory at Rogers Arena on Monday.
Andrei Svechnikov also scored, and Frederik Andersen made 14 saves for the Hurricanes (4-1-1), who bounced back from consecutive losses and finished 3-1-1 on a five-game, 11-day road trip.
“It was a battle,” Aho said. “I give a lot of credit to the players. It was a grind. It wasn’t easy, but happy we got two points here.”
J.T. Miller scored twice, and Thatcher Demko made 36 saves for the Canucks (0-5-2), who remain the only NHL team without a win and failed for the eighth straight time to get coach Bruce Boudreau his 600th NHL victory dating to the finale last season.
“Night in and night out, losing takes a toll on you mentally, physically,” Vancouver captain Bo Horvat said. “It’s frustrating right now, obviously, and you’ve got to stay optimistic. You can’t just keep beating yourself up or keep feeling sorry for yourself, because it’s just going to get worse if you do that.”
Svechnikov put Carolina ahead 1-0 at 6:06 of the first period, one-timing a cross-ice feed from Martin Necas past Demko 11 seconds into a power play.
It was Svechnikov’s team-leading seventh goal of the season, tying him for the NHL lead with Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos, and Geoff Sanderson (1993-94) for the most in Hurricanes/Hartford Whalers history through the first six games.
“You got to have your top guys contributing nightly, or it’s going to be hard,” Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “I’m real proud of the group, honestly. I know it’s early, but we really come out hard every game. Tonight was tough sledding; I felt like we were in control, but it was a tight game and the guys just keep working.”
The Hurricanes appeared to double their lead at 11:48, but Derek Stepan‘s goal was waved off because Paul Stastny interfered with Demko in the crease. Carolina unsuccessfully challenged, and Miller tied it 1-1 at 12:30 on the resulting power play with a backdoor tap-in of Horvat’s pass through the crease.
Aho scored the go-ahead goal 50 seconds into the third after Seth Jarvis‘s shot on a partial breakaway trickled between Demko’s pads.
“I thought maybe I scored, and then I saw [Aho] knocked it in and that was a great way to get the period going,” Jarvis said.
Aho has nine points (four goals, five assists) during a five-game point streak.
“He’s an elite player,” Jarvis said. “You expect nothing less from them (Aho and Svechnikov), and it’s nice to see to see him getting production and scoring a lot and that only helps our team win. Anytime he’s having a good night, it usually results in wins.”
Fast made it 3-1 at 1:27 when Jordan Staal‘s cross-ice pass bounced in off his leg.
Miller cut it to 3-2 at 10:40 with a one-timer over Andersen’s glove from the top of the left face-off circle after a dump-in hit Jesperi Kotkaniemi in the face and bounced to Miller.
Vancouver was outshot 15-3 in the last 20 minutes and has been outscored 15-2 in the third period this season.
“It’s like we’re afraid to push,” Boudreau said. “It’s like they’re standing around and looking like, ‘Oh, what’s going to happen now?’ And it’s unfortunate because I think they all care.”
NOTES: Carolina defenseman Dylan Coughlan, who is from nearby Vancouver Island, played his second game of the season in place of Calvin de Haan, who was scratched. … The Canucks penalty kill entered last in the NHL (55.6 percent) and gave up one goal on three Hurricanes power plays. … Vancouver defenseman Quinn Hughes (lower body) missed his second straight game and was placed on injured reserve earlier Monday. … Canucks forward Brock Boeser did not play for the first time this season because of an undisclosed injury. He is day to day.