Aho has goal, assist, Hurricanes top Kings in 9-round shootout

Los Angeles Kings defenseman Kevin Fiala showcased his playmaking skills, tallying an impressive three assists in the game. Unfortunately, Kings goalie Pheonix Copley struggled between the pipes, surrendering five goals on just 19 shots. This marked the second consecutive game in which the Kings allowed double-digit goals in regulation.

In response to the team’s lackluster performance, Kings coach Todd McLellan expressed his frustration, stating, “The individual errors, to put it mildly, were extremely detrimental to the collective effort. We need to address these issues and make the necessary adjustments. Our players must elevate their level of execution.”

The opening goal came courtesy of San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns, who capitalized on a wrist shot from the left circle at the 4:15 mark of the game.

Carolina Hurricanes forward Sebastian Aho extended his team’s lead to 2-0 at 6:41, capitalizing on a turnover by Fiala in the neutral zone. Aho demonstrated his short-handed prowess, scoring his 17th career short-handed goal, surpassing the Hurricanes/Hartford Whalers record previously held by Eric Staal.

Carolina head coach Rod Brind’Amour praised Aho’s aggressive mindset, stating, “Aho has a unique ability to exploit the available space on the ice during these situations. We trust him to seize opportunities and he has been exceptional on the penalty kill.”

Carolina forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi added to the Hurricanes’ lead, finding the back of the net with a sharp-angle shot from the left circle at 13:28.

Despite their early struggles, the Kings managed to respond before the end of the first period, with defenseman Drew Doughty blasting a powerful slap shot from the left circle at 18:27, reducing the deficit to 3-1.

The second period saw an impressive display of offensive proficiency from the Hurricanes, as Brendan Lemieux capitalized on a stretch pass from Tony DeAngelo, firing a wrist shot from the left circle to give Carolina a commanding 4-1 lead at the 3:03 mark.

However, the Kings refused to back down. Anze Kopitar showcased his determination, attacking the crease and finishing off Adrian Kempe’s pass through the slot, trimming the Hurricanes’ lead to 4-2 at 5:20.


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