RALEIGH, NC– Sebastian Ah had a hat trick and an assist to help the Carolina Hurricanes defeat the Buffalo Sabers 5-3 on Friday at PNC Arena.
It was Aho’s fifth NHL hat trick and first since May 3, 2021 against the Chicago Blackhawks.
“I won’t lie, it felt good to get the hat-trick,” said Aho. “[Martin Necas, Andrei Svechnikov and Jesperi Kotkaniemi] saved our line more this season than we saved them. It’s kind of nice to return the favor there.”
Necas had one goal and two assists, and Svechnikov, Seth Jarvis and Teuvo Teravainen each had two assists for the Hurricanes (8-2-1), who have four straight wins, including a 4-3 win in Thursday’s shootout against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Anti Ranta Made 22 saves.
“We’re a confident group, that’s for sure,” said Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour. “What I see is just consistency with [Aho’s] play. Every night is pretty much the same. Elite players, that’s how they go. Every night when they’re not your top guy, you notice them and they’re impressive.”
Victor Olofsson scored his ninth goal of the season Jack Quinn had two templates, and Craig Anderson made 28 saves for the Sabers (7-4-0), who had won three straight games.
“We weren’t that sharp tonight, and I’d say there were a handful of guys that didn’t look like themselves,” said Buffalo coach Don Granato. “It’s happening. They were trying to push through. I don’t question their competition, I don’t question their efforts.”
Jacob Bryson gave the Sabers a 1-0 lead after 28 seconds of the first half when his shot ricocheted off Svechnikov.
Video: [email protected]: Aho scores 3 points in 5-3 win over Sabers
Aho equalized at 8:07 to make it 1-1 by hitting a Teravainen pass from the right circle.
“It wasn’t easy but obviously we scored a goal there pretty early on and built confidence,” said Aho. “My line was pretty good today so it definitely helped me.”
Olofsson put Buffalo back 2-1 up at 10:06 when his one-timer ran past Raanta’s glove and pad, but Aho equalized at 12:45 with a one-timer from a pass by Necas to a with 2 : 2 from power play.
“They had us on the ropes there early on. We were clearly not ready to go at that pace,” Brind’Amour said. “Because we had some high-end games, we were kind of able to throw that period away. It didn’t kill us.”
Necas gave the Hurricanes a 3-2 lead at 4:03 of the second period after a backhand pass from Aho.
“Everyone knows what kind of player he is,” said Necas. “Great shot from him, great pass. His pass was a little nicer [than mine].”
Video: [email protected]: Kotkaniemi extends lead in 3rd period
Kotkaniemi scored his first goal of the season and extended it to 4-2 at 9:22 of the third period, collecting a pass from Necas.
“It feels pretty good,” said Kotkaniemi. “Not the nicest I’ve had, but we’ll take it. It’ll come if we just keep playing as a line.”
Aho completed the hat trick with a blank hit at 17:46 to 5:2.
Rasmus Dahlin scored one second before the end of the power play to make it 5:3.
“Their strong players took advantage of some situations they got into,” said Granato. “Some of our younger guys who gain experience over time need to see a movie. Those are the games you want to play against top players in a building like this. You learn from mistakes.”
REMARKS: Necas has at least a point in 10 of Carolina’s 11 games and 10 points (four goals, six assists) during a six-game scoring streak of his career. … Dahlin has at least one point in 10 of Buffalo’s 11 games and six points (two goals, four assists) during a four-game scoring streak. … Aho had at least four points for the seventh time in 456 NHL games, the first time since Dec. 7, 2019, when he had five points (three goals, two assists) against the Minnesota Wild. He tied Kevin Dineen for the fourth most four-point games in Hurricanes/Whalers history, behind Ron Francis (30). Eric Staal (12) and Blaine Stoughton (10). … Sabers defenders Kale Clague had an assist for his first point in four games with Buffalo after signing a one-year contract on July 13.
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