Hurricanes explode for 8 goals in blowout win over Senators

Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho scores a shorthanded goal on Senators goaltender Anders Nilsson during Carolina’s 8-2 win Monday at PNC Arena. (Karl B. DeBlaker / AP Photo)

RALEIGH — In the midst of a four-game losing streak and facing a rematch against a goaltender who two days earlier had shut them down, the Carolina Hurricanes were looking for a spark to get them pointed back in the right direction.

It took less than a minute for them to get it.

A seemingly harmless shot from Warren Foegele on the game’s opening shift hit the skate of a Senators defender and trickled through the pads of Anders Nilsson to give Carolina a lead just 44 seconds into the game. The Hurricanes rolled from there, beating Ottawa 8-2 in front of 12,356 Monday at PNC Arena.

“It’s nice to see the puck go in,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “The last couple weeks here it’s just been tough sledding to find the back of the net. Tonight, we were able to capitalize on our chances.”

With just seven goals total in their four-game skid, the Hurricanes exploded for eight on Monday, including multiple goals in all three periods, to avenge their dismal 4-1 loss in Ottawa on Saturday. Sebastian Aho had two goals and is now tied for the team lead with the injured Erik Haula and Dougie Hamilton — who also scored — with eight on the season, and defenseman Joel Edmundson not only managed to get his first point in a Hurricanes’ sweater but had his first goal of the season and the second three-point night of his NHL career in the win.

“That took a while, but I’m just happy to help my team out,” Edmundson said of getting on the score sheet. “I think we came ready to play tonight. We played a full 60 minutes, and if we do that most nights we’ll get the result we want.”

Brind’Amour has had to preach patience during his team’s losing streak, reminding them that if the team played with the tenacity he expects the goals would come.

“We had to really take a broad picture of what’s gone on here the last little while,” Brind’Amour said. “We lost (four) in a row, but three of them we could have won. It wasn’t like it was drastic. … We just didn’t get a lot of pucks to go in. And tonight, I don’t know that it was drastically different, it was just consistent and the puck went in for us.”

Patience paid off the Hurricanes, who saw nearly everything go in Monday.

With a 1-0 lead late in the first period, the Hurricanes converted their first power play of the night to extend their lead.

Defenseman Jake Gardiner’s shot was blocked, but the puck kicked right to Martin Necas, who banged it in the net for his fourth goal of the season and a 2-0 lead at 17:55 of the opening period.

After Carolina killed off the remainder of a late first period penalty, the Hurricanes went back on the penalty kill early in the second after Gardiner was called for holding. But instead of Ottawa getting back in the game, Carolina extended its lead.

Aho deflected a Dylan DeMelo pass at the Carolina blue line and took off on a shorthanded breakaway, wristing a shot past Nilsson on the blocker side to make it 3-0 at 4:06 of the second period.

“That was the third or fourth shorthanded breakaway for me,” Aho said. “It felt pretty good to put that in.”

Haydn Fleury — playing as the No. 6 defensemen for the first time since Oct. 16 after playing three games as the seventh D — scored his second career goal when his pass attempt was deflected by Ottawa defenseman Erik Brannstrom and went past Nilsson to make it 4-0 at 12:45 of the middle frame.

Nilsson — who stymied the Hurricanes on Saturday and earlier Monday was named the NHL’s first star of the week — was done for the night, giving way to Craig Anderson after allowing four goals on just 19 shots.

Things didn’t go much better for Anderson.

The Hurricanes stretched their lead to five quickly, with Hamilton forcing a turnover in the neutral zone and then jumping into the high slot. He received a pass from Teuvo Teravainen and ripped a shot past Anderson for a 5-0 lead at 16:25 of the second.

“We haven’t been scoring a lot of goals in the last couple games and been losing,” Hamilton said. “It’s good for everyone to get a good feel. We played the right way tonight, and we got rewarded for it.”

The Senators finally got on the board two minutes later, with Colin White benefiting from a Petr Mrazek (26 saves) turnover behind the Carolina net, tapping the puck into an empty goal to cut the Hurricanes’ lead to 5-1.

Aho added a second goal at the start of the third, knocking a rebound of an Edmundson shot out of the air and in past Anderson to push the lead to 6-1 just 67 seconds into the third.

Brady Tkachuk got his second third period goal in as many games against Carolina, jamming a loose puck past Mrazek in the blue paint for a 6-2 Hurricanes’ lead with just over 10 minutes left in regulation.

Carolina added salt in the wound with under 7 minutes left when former Senator Ryan Dzingel snapped an Edmundson pass into an open net to push the lead to 7-2, and then Edmundson got a goal of his own with a one-timer from the point at 17:47 of the third to close out the scoring barrage.

“It’s a long season,” Edmundson said in shaking off the losing streak. “It’s a marathon, you know.”

Notes: Hurricanes rookie Eetu Luostarinen earned his first NHL point with a primary assist on Fleury’s second period goal. … Aho was plus-4 after being minus-4 in Ottawa on Saturday. … Brock McGinn, who was a game-time decision after getting hurt blocking a shot in Ottawa, fought the Senators’ Bobby Ryan in the first period after the Ottawa winger had a borderline hit on Brian Gibbons in the Carolina end. … Andrei Svechnikov finished with two assists for his eighth multipoint game of the season, besting the seven he had is his rookie campaign last season.