Aho, Andersen lead Hurricanes past Bruins 6-0
Sebastian Aho scored twice, Frederik Andersen made 34 saves and the Carolina Hurricanes shut out the short-handed Boston Bruins 6-0 on Thursday night.
Andrei Svechnikov had a goal and two assists, Vincent Trocheck, Brett Pesce and Jordan Staal also scored, and Teuvo Teravainen had three assists to help Carolina complete a season sweep of Boston with another rout. The Hurricanes outscored the Bruins 10-1 in the first two games before capping the sweep with their second shutout of the Bruins in the three meetings.
"The score doesn't matter," Aho said. "It's just the two points, and obviously we'll take it."
Carolina, which led 1-0 after the first period, blew it open with three more goals in the second.
Coach Rod Brind'Amour credited Andersen with giving the Hurricanes an early boost by shutting down two Bruins' power-play opportunities in the opening minutes.
"If they get a power-play goal, the game is way different," Brind'Amour said. "That was a huge part of the game. He was great, and then we were able to settle down and get playing."
The Bruins lost for the third time in four games and were already reeling from the loss of three top players - their leading scorer, team captain and winningest goalie in franchise history - over the previous 48 hours.
Brad Marchand, who leads Boston with 49 points, served the first of a six-game suspension for going after Pittsburgh goalie Tristan Jarry late in a 4-2 loss Tuesday night.
Captain Patrice Bergeron missed the game with a head injury suffered against the Penguins after colliding with Sidney Crosby and slamming the back of his helmet against the boards.
"They're key drivers for our team, so it's going to hurt," coach Bruce Cassidy said. "How are we going to weather it? We're certainly going to need a little more pushback from guys that are expected to bring it and some other veteran guys that might not but have to step up in their absence.
"And we were lacking both tonight in huge quantities."
On Wednesday, Tuukka Rask announced he was ending his bid to return from offseason hip surgery and retiring from playing.
Linas Ullmark got the start in goal Thursday night and got roughed up, allowing six goals on 43 shots.
Nick Foligno came closest to scoring for Boston, getting the puck past Andersen 22 seconds into the third period but not before bumping him in the crease. The goal was waved off on the ice and withstood a video review after a challenge by Boston.
Svechnikov jumped on a turnover in the slot and beat Ullmark with a wrist shot 2:35 into the second period, putting Carolina up 2-0 after assisting on Trocheck's goal in the first. Aho tipped in a shot 8:01 into the second and added a power-play goal 1:58 into the third for a 5-0 lead.
Staal added a goal late in the third period and finished with a goal and an assist. It was only the third goal of the season for Carolina's team captain and his first since Oct. 29.
Staal said it was a long drought "but we were winning a lot of hockey games." The Hurricanes lead the Metropolitan Division and are second in the Eastern Conference with 67 points (32-10-3).
Brind'Amour said regardless of the scoring drought, Staal's commitment and leadership have never wavered.
"He's the leader of our group," Brind'Amour said. "He was able to get one tonight, that's great. But let's look how we played tonight. That's a direct reflection of your captain."
NOTES: Teravainen returned after missing four straight games with a lower-body injury. ... Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said Bergeron had a laceration on the back of his head and remained day to day. ... Boston D Matt Grzelcyk left late in the second period after hitting awkwardly into the boards while tangled with Svechnikov. Grzelcyk did not return. Cassidy said it was an upper-body injury that didn't involve Grzelcyk's head, but had no other details after the game.
Hurricanes: At Minnesota on Saturday night.
Bruins: Open a four-game road trip Saturday at Ottawa.