Bunting, Skjei lead Hurricanes past Golden Knights
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Michael Bunting had a goal and two assists, Brady Skjei added a goal and an assist, and the Carolina Hurricanes matched their highest-scoring game of the season with a 6-3 win over the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday night.
Andrei Svechnikov, Jordan Staal, Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Seth Jarvis also scored, and Sebastian Aho had three assists as the Hurricanes extended their point streak to five games (3-0-2). Pyotr Kochetkov made 30 saves to earn his third victory in eight nights.
“It’s an easier sell when you get rewarded,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “I think we’ve been playing well here lately.”
The Hurricanes were 3 for 3 on power plays and killed all four of the Golden Knights’ power plays.
“You build momentum off the power play,” Bunting said. “You can’t ask for anything more from special teams on our end.”
William Carrier had two goals and Nicolas Hague also scored for Vegas, which lost for the second time in three games following a seven-game points streak. Brett Howden had two assists. Logan Thompson gave up six goals on 28 shots before he was pulled with more than 15 minutes remaining, and Jiri Patera stopped all 10 shots he faced.
“In their power play, they just executed through and got shots from the elbows,” Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy said. “We didn’t do a good enough job getting in shooting lanes, pushing it farther away from our net.”
Svechnikov, back in the lineup after missing six games with an injury, took his time after receiving a pass from defenseman Skjei before floating a shot past Thompson to complete Carolina’s first power play of the game with 9 1/2 minutes left in the first period. It was Svechnikov’s second goal of the season in his 17th game.
“I wasn’t sure how he would look,” Brind’Amour said. “He was impactful. That’s what we were missing.”
It’s like a restart to the season that already was delayed for Svechnikov, who was coming off last season’s knee surgery before his latest ailment.
“I had some juice,” Svechnikov said. “Trying to make the plays and make it easier on the boys.”
Carrier snapped a 20-game goal drought by pushing in a rebound after Brayden McNabb’s shot was blocked by Kochetkov, tying the score 1-1. It was his fourth.
The Hurricanes were in control after that.
Kotkaniemi had gone 10 games without a goal until converting at 10:11 of the second period. Bunting’s power-play goal came 1:28 later. Jarvis and Skjei scored in the opening 4:44 of the third.
Vegas center Jack Eichel’s franchise-record points streak reached 11 games as he assisted on Hague’s goal with 1:24 remaining.
Carrier finished the scoring with 32 seconds left for his fifth.
Golden Knights: At Tampa Bay on Thursday night.
Hurricanes: At Pittsburgh on Thursday night.
AP NHL: https://www.apnews.com/hub/NHL