RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Andrei Svechnikov ended an eight-game goal drought by scoring twice to help the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Chicago Blackhawks 6-3 on Tuesday night.
Svechnikov also had an assist on Teuvo Teravainen’s third-period goal for the Hurricanes, who had to battle and erase a 2-0 deficit to maintain momentum toward winning the franchise’s first Presidents’ Trophy.
Teravainen also had a three-point game, assisting on both of Svechnikov’s goals. And Sebastian Aho followed his hat trick in Monday’s win against the Blackhawks with a pair of third-period assists, a reminder of how good Carolina’s top line can be when it gets rolling.
Nino Niederreiter scored twice and joined Martin Necas with an empty-net goal to clinch this one, while Petr Mrazek finished with 27 saves in his first appearance in nearly two weeks after suffering a lower-body injury.
It was Carolina’s fifth straight win and 12th straight game with at least a point.
Alex DeBrincat scored twice for the Blackhawks, who were eliminated from the playoff race with Monday’s 5-2 loss here. This was Chicago’s sixth straight loss.
The Blackhawks jumped to a 2-0 first-period lead when DeBrincat got loose on a short-handed breakaway against Mrazek, followed by the first NHL goal for Mike Hardman.
But that lead wouldn’t hold, as Niederreiter and Svechnikov each scored in the second period to tie it — followed by the Hurricanes rolling to four third-period goals. Necas’ goal proved critical to closing this one out, as he scored from nearly center ice only seconds after the Blackhawks had pulled Collin Delia on a late power play facing a 4-3 deficit.
Carolina entered Tuesday with 77 points, two more than fellow Central Division team Florida for the NHL’s best record. Vegas was third with 74 points after losing Monday at Minnesota.
Carolina was the only one of those teams in action Tuesday night on a light five-game league slate.
Delia didn’t allow a goal in 19 shots after taking over for Malcolm Subban down 4-0 midway through the second period of Monday’s loss. It had been only his third appearance all season and first since Jan. 17, which came after coach Jeremy Colliton said the team had planned to give Delia some late-season work.
He got the start Tuesday and denied the Hurricanes for another period before Niederreiter finally broke through with a put-away near the top of the crease off Morgan Geekie’s feed at 4:32 of the second period.
Delia finished with 22 saves.
The teams take a day off before closing their three-game set Thursday in the Hurricanes’ final home game of the regular-season schedule.