RALEIGH, N.C. — Jordan Martinook scored the go-ahead goal in his first game since signing a contract extension, and the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Vegas Golden Knights 5-2 Friday night in the teams’ return from the All-Star break.
Martinook, who signed a two-year, $4 million extension earlier in the week, scored the tiebreaking goal late in the second period as the Hurricanes won for the third time in four games. The goal was Martinook’s 11th in 51 games this season, tying his single-season career-high. He scored 11 in 77 games with Arizona in 2016-17.
Nino Niederreiter, Brett Pesce and Sebastian Aho also scored, and Justin Faulk added an empty-netter with 49 seconds remaining. Justin Williams had two assists and Petr Mrazek stopped 22 shots.
Shea Theodore scored twice for Vegas, which has lost five of seven. Maxime Lagace stopped 27 of 31 shots in his first game since being recalled from the American Hockey League.
Carolina came out fast and peppered Lagace early to set the tempo. Vegas struck first with a power-play goal by Theodore just over five minutes in, but the Hurricanes responded and never trailed the rest of the way.
Williams notched his first assist on a nifty play in which he redirected a rolling puck into the slow with the outside of his skate. Niederreiter snapped off a wrist shot to make it 1-1.
Carolina took the lead 47 seconds into the second period when Lagace ventured too far out of his crease to try and poke away a loose puck. Pesce corralled Lagace’s feeble push and lifted it into a wide-open net for the lead.
Theodore tied it with a shot through traffic late in the period, but Carolina again responded quickly.
Just 36 seconds after Theodore’s tying goal, Martinook buried Brock McGinn’s pass with a one-timer to finish off a pretty odd-man rush, putting Carolina back in front.
Aho opened up a two-goal lead in the third with a tremendous individual effort, carrying the puck from centre ice all the way to the net and flipping a backhander from a sharp angle over Lagace’s shoulder. The Hurricanes never let up, staying on the attack the entire way and limiting Vegas to five shots in the final period.
NOTES: Niederreiter has five goals in five games with the Hurricanes since being acquired from Minnesota on Jan. 17. … Faulk’s assist in the first period moved him past Dave Babych for most career points by a defenceman in franchise history (241). .. Aho extended his point streak to four games, and Jaccob Slavin extended his assist streak to four straight. … Hurricanes G Curtis McElhinney missed his fifth straight game with a knee injury. He remains day-to-day. …. Vegas has been held to two goals or less in four of its last five.
Golden Knights: At Florida on Saturday.
Hurricanes: Host Calgary on Sunday.
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The Associated Press