Sports / Other Sports / 
Aho scores 2 late goals, Carolina rallies past Rangers, 4-3

Aho scores 2 late goals, Carolina rallies past Rangers, 4-3

By Joedy McCreary, Associated Press | Posted - Mar. 9, 2017 at 8:46 p.m.

8 photos

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Sebastian Aho has put together quite a few highlights during his rookie season with the Carolina Hurricanes.

His late surge Thursday night ranks among his best.

Aho scored two power-play goals in the final 11 minutes, including the go-ahead score with 7:32 remaining, to help the Hurricanes rally past the New York Rangers 4-3.

"His hockey sense is elite," coach Bill Peters said. "His compete is very high. His skill, you see it, it's on display."

Aho also scored the tying goal with 10:56 to play and added an assist to help the Hurricanes, who entered tied with New Jersey for last place in the Metropolitan Division after going 2-7-3 in their previous 12 games.

"It's a good group in that room — they're good people. They care," Peters said. "It has been a tough stretch. ... Tonight, we found a way."

Jeff Skinner also scored, Valentin Zykov had a goal in his first NHL game and Cam Ward made a season-best 40 saves.

Carolina trailed 3-2 entering the third before earning just its fifth win when trailing after 40 minutes.

Mika Zibanejad scored two power-play goals, Chris Kreider added a power-play goal and an assist for the short-handed Rangers, who were without injured goalie Henrik Lundqvist and winger Rick Nash.

Backup Antti Raanta made 26 saves for the Rangers, who sat Lundqvist with an upper-body injury and Nash with a lower-body injury.

"At the end of the day, we didn't play well enough in the third period," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. "We got outplayed, and they came back and scored two power-play goals."

The key to the win was Aho, a bright spot in another otherwise lost season for Carolina. The 19-year-old from Finland entered ranked third among rookies with 18 goals before adding two more.

"The first 20 games were pretty tough for me, but after that, I got more comfortable and got some confidence," Aho said. "I got used to a smaller rink pretty fast, and after that, I played better."

With Zibanejad serving a slashing minor, Elias Lindholm scooped up a rebound and passed to Jordan Staal, who then shoveled a pretty cross-ice pass to Aho, who beat Raanta for the go-ahead goal.

"A good battle from Lindy, a couple of nice passes and I just put it in the empty net," Aho said.

That came moments after he made it 3-all on a power play midway through the third period with a shot that got past Raanta, who was screened by Lindholm. The Rangers challenged, arguing that Lindholm interfered with the goalie, but the goal was confirmed following a review.

Vigneault called that goal the turning point of the game, saying the officials told him the contact between Raanta and Lindholm was involuntary because the goalie's head was outside the crease even though his skates were in the area marked by blue paint.

"In all the times I've asked for challenges since we've been allowed to do this, this one I'm 100 percent sure I'm right," Vigneault said. "In my opinion, it was the wrong call."

Derek Stepan rang the post with about 3½ minutes remaining and Ward stopped Tanner Glass from point-blank range with about 2 minutes to play to preserve the win.

Zibanejad scored two power-play goals in the second period to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 lead, first stuffing a rebound past Ward with 12:44 left and then snapping a shot off Ward's blocker and into the net.

Carolina had erased an early 1-0 deficit by scoring twice in a 29-second span of the first, with Skinner tying it with a backhand with 6:45 left and Zykov putting the Hurricanes up with a goal with 6:16 to go when he stuffed in a rebound.

NOTES: The Rangers, playing their third game in four nights, fell to 23-3-0 when leading after two periods. ... Stepan and Staal each had two assists. ... The Rangers recalled G Brandon Halverson from Greenville of the ECHL as the emergency fill-in in Lundqvist's absence. ... Zykov's goal came on his first NHL shot.


Rangers: Conclude four-game road trip Sunday at Detroit.

Hurricanes: Wrap up a brief two-game homestand Saturday night against Toronto.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Joedy McCreary


    Catch up on the top news and features from, sent weekly.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast