Aho, special teams lifts Hurricanes past Panthers

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SUNRISE, Fla. — Sebastian Aho scored two shorthanded goals for the Carolina Hurricanes in a 4-2 victory against the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center on Thursday.

Jordan Martinook and Nino Niederreiter scored for the Hurricanes (31-10-5). Alex Nedeljkovic made 32 saves.

Aleksander Barkov scored twice for the Panthers (30-13-5), who were 4-0-1 in their past five games. Sergei Bobrovsky made 25 saves.

Carolina is 6-0-1 against Florida this season. The teams play the second game of the two-game set here Saturday.

The Hurricanes were 1-for-3 on the power play and 8-for-9 on the penalty kill.

Barkov gave Florida a 1-0 lead at 6:22 of the first period with his 20th goal of the season.

Martinook tied the score 1-1 at 14 seconds of the second period when he redirected Jordan Staal‘s pass from behind the net. Martinook left the game in the second period with an undisclosed injury after taking a hip check from defenseman Radko Gudas.

Niederreiter gave Carolina a 2-1 at 11:09 with a power-play goal, scoring on a rebound.

Aho scored shorthanded at 18:08 for a 3-1 lead when he finished off a 2-on-0 with Martin Necas after a turnover at the Carolina blue line.

Barkov made it 3-2 at 12:02 of the third period with a wrist shot from the slot on a 5-on-3 power play. 

Aho scored a shorthanded empty-net goal at 19:44 for the 4-2 final.

Florida defenseman Keith Yandle played his 914th consecutive game, tying Garry Unger for the second-longest streak in NHL history. Doug Jarvis has the longest streak at 964 games.

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