Carolina Hurricanes, in Whalers green, fight past Bruins 5-3

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For the first time in their history, the Carolina Hurricanes did not wear Carolina Hurricanes uniforms in a game.

They wore Hartford Whalers uniforms. Green Hartford Whalers uniforms, with the distinctive Hartford Whalers logo on the front.

It was different, it was strange, it was exciting. The Boston Bruins were on the ice Sunday at PNC Arena, adding to the retro feel of the day and ready to play the Carolina Hurricanes wearing Hartford Whalers uniforms.

In the old days, the Bruins often beat up the Hartford Whalers. They appeared on their way to doing it again Sunday to those in the green, taking a 2-0 first-period lead, but the Carolina Hurricanes would not be denied this day, winning 5-3.

Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen each had two goals and two assists — each with a shorthanded score — for the Hurricanes (15-15-5). Playing on a line with rookie Andrei Svechnikov for the first time this season, they were dynamic throughout the entertaining game as the Hurricanes played a quick, north-south game.

Defenseman Justin Faulk scored his first goal since Oct. 22 and goalie Petr Mrazek battled his way through the game for his sixth win of the season.

It was a throwback to the Carolina Hurricanes’ past, when they once were the Hartford Whalers. That was more than 20 years ago. It was a marketing thing, equal parts novelty and an embrace of the past while also a nice money-maker for the team two days before Christmas.

Pucky the Whale, the old Hartford Whalers mascot, sounded the warning siren — a pregame ritual for the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. Mike Rogers, once the Hartford Whalers captain, dropped the puck in a pregame ceremony, a faceoff “won” by Carolina Hurricanes captain Justin Williams.

Less than a minute into the game, Canes forward Jordan Martinook hammered the Bruins’ Brandon Carlo along the boards. Game on.

The decision was made to play “Brass Bonanza”, once the Whalers’ goal song when the Carolina Hurricanes scored Sunday. Coach Rod Brind’Amour, for one, was hoping to hear it a lot, especially after Carolina was shut out 3-0 by the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday.

Aho and Teravainen saw to that. Teravainen got the Carolina Hurricanes on the board in the first, with a shot/pass off the right wing that hit the glove of Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy and fell past goalie Tuukka Rask. Cue Brass Bonanza.

Aho scored twice in the second period and nearly had hats flying — some newly bought and with the Hartford emblem — by coming a few inches from a third. Teravainen assisted on both goals, Aho’s 13th and 14th of the season.


Boston Bruins’ Ryan Donato (17) pushes the puck past Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Petr Mrazek (34) with Calvin de Haan (44) nearby during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018, in Raleigh, N.C. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)

Karl B DeBlaker AP

Aho’s first was shorthanded, on a shot that trickled through Rask. The second was a blast off a Teravainen pass into the slot.

When Faulk bombed in a shot from the point, the Carolina Hurricanes had their third goal of the period and a 4-2 lead. It was Faulk’s second of the season and the sellout crowd was in full throat at that point, once breaking out to a “Let’s Go Whalers!” chant.

Boston’s Ryan Donato quieted the din by scoring his second of the game, on a wrister from the right circle. Donato had picked up his first early on a power play in the game when the puck glanced off defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk, and defenseman Steven Kampfer scored on a shot from the point soon after the Bruins killed off a 5-on-3 power play by the Hurricanes.

Teravainen’s shorthanded goal in the third eased the tension level for the home team. Rask misplayed the puck in front of the net but managed to stop Aho, but Teravainen beat the scrambling goalie with a shot from the right circle for his seventh.