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Teuvo Teravainen had a goal and two assists and the Carolina Hurricanes kept pace in the playoff race with a 5-1 win over the Minnesota Wild on Saturday night.
Jordan Staal, Brett Pesce, Andrei Svechnikov and Lucas Wallmark also scored for Carolina, which picked up its fifth win in seven games to keep its hold on the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot. Petr Mrazek stopped 24 shots.
The Hurricanes, who own the NHL’s longest playoff drought at nine seasons, have a five-point cushion with eight games to play.
Eric Staal scored and Devyn Dubnyk made 28 saves for the Wild, who dropped out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference with the loss and Colorado’s 4-2 win over Chicago. Minnesota played without leading scorer Zach Parise after he took a high stick to the face against Washington on Friday.
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The Hurricanes outshot the Wild 34-25 and controlled the tempo from the outset.
The first period was scoreless only because Dubnyk kept it that way, making a string of string of highlight-reel saves_including stopping Svechnikov on a breakaway_to keep Carolina off the board.
But the Hurricanes finally broke through 3:06 into the second when Justin Faulk’s shot from the point hit Jordan Staal’s skate in front of the net and redirected through Dubnyk’s legs, and the floodgates opened.
Just over two minutes later, following a Wild turnover at center ice, Justin Williams fed Pesce at the top of the left faceoff circle and Pesce finished with a wrister past Dubnyk’s glove into the upper-left corner to make it 2-0.
Eric Staal got Minnesota on the board with a power-play goal midway through the second after Micheal Ferland received a double-minor for high-sticking, but Carolina put it away with three third-period goals.
Svechnikov took a nifty backhand pass from Teravainen in the slot and buried it in the opening minutes of the third to make it a two-goal game again, and Wallmark finished a one-timer from Ferland with 10:51 remaining to all but wrap up the victory.
Teravainen added the final punch when he stole the puck at center ice and beat Dubnyk on a breakaway.
NOTES: Teravainen recorded his 50th assist of the season on Jordan Staal’s goal, and Sebastian Aho recorded his 50th assist on Pesce’s goal. They became the first Hurricanes teammates with 50 assists in the same season since Rod Brind’Amour and Ray Whitney in 2006-07. … Wild F Joel Eriksson Ek (lower-body injury) missed his sixth straight game. He is day to day. … Carolina improved to 10-3-1 in its last 14 games. … The Wild have won just three of their past 11 games.
Wild: Host Nashville on Monday.
Hurricanes: Host Montreal on Sunday.