Aho leads Hurricanes past Blues in matchup of teams on tear

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Sebastian Aho had a short-handed goal and an assist, and the Carolina Hurricanes beat the St. Louis Blues 5-2 on Friday night in a matchup between two of the NHL’s hottest teams.

Justin Faulk also had a goal and an assist, Justin Williams and Jordan Staal scored, and Andrei Svechnikov added an empty-netter for Carolina. Nino Niederreiter and Teuvo Teravainen each had two assists.

Curtis McElhinney stopped 21 shots for the Hurricanes, who have vaulted into playoff contention by earning 41 points since Dec. 30. They have won four straight and improved to 13-3-1 in their last 17 games.

Vince Dunn had a goal and an assist, with Oskar Sundqvist deflecting in one of his shots, and Robert Thomas had two assists for the Blues — who have been just as hot, with 40 points since Jan. 1. St. Louis entered 13-1-1 in its previous 15.


UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) — Alex Ovechkin became the first player in NHL history with 10 seasons of 45 goals or more, scoring in Washington’s three-goal third period as the Capitals rallied past New York.

Jakub Vrana and T.J. Oshie also had goals, Braden Holtby stopped 20 shots and the Capitals extended their winning streak to three while tying the Islanders for first place in the Metropolitan Division.

Tom Kuhnackl scored for the Islanders and Thomas Greiss made 26 saves, but New York lost for the second time during its five-game homestand (1-2-0).

Ovechkin improved his point streak to eight games with his 45th goal of the season at 4:34 of the third.


BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Conor Sheary scored his second goal of the game with 49 seconds on the clock in overtime to lift Buffalo over Pittsburgh.

Sheary, acquired from Pittsburgh in a trade last June, also assisted on Brandon Montour’s goal that tied the game with 2:32 left in regulation. Jack Eichel scored and Linus Ullmark stopped 41 shots for the Sabres, who improved to 2-5-1 in their past eight.

Sidney Crosby and Patric Hornqvist scored power-play goals 63 seconds apart late in the second period, and Nick Bjugstad also had a goal for the Penguins, locked in a tight race for an Eastern Conference playoff spot. They dropped to 5-2-2 in their past nine games.


NEW YORK (AP) — Joel Armia had three goals for his first NHL hat trick and Montreal beat New York.

Brendan Gallagher also scored and Carey Price stopped 28 shots for Montreal, which has won four of six. The Canadiens, who hold the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race, pulled five points behind Toronto for third place in the Atlantic Division.

Vladislav Namestnikov and Brendan Lemieux scored, and Henrik Lundqvist finished with 32 saves as the Rangers lost their third straight and fourth in five games (1-2-2). Brady Skjei had two assists.


NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Travis Konecny and Sean Couturier scored in a 57-second span bridging the second and third periods, and Philadelphia continued its playoff push with a victory over New Jersey.

Konecny and James van Riemsdyk scored twice, and Cam Talbot made 30 saves in becoming the NHL record-setting eighth goaltender for the Flyers this season.

Ivan Provorov also scored as the Flyers improved to 15-3-2 since a loss to the Devils on Jan. 12.

Damon Severson and Jesper Bratt scored for the Devils, who rallied from a 2-0 deficit to tie the game. Cory Schneider made 18 saves. Kevin Rooney, who had the Flyers’ go-ahead goal go off his skate, closed out the scoring with his second goal in two games.