Hurricanes soaring as test from Kings awaits

The Carolina Hurricanes have drawn from various sources on their latest winning streak, with nothing more impressive than Sebastian Aho’s scoring burst and the contributions from a number of goalies.

The Hurricanes’ latest chance to unveil their winning formula will come Tuesday when they wrap up a three-game homestand against the visiting Los Angeles Kings in Raleigh, N.C.

Aho has scored a goal in four consecutive games, racking up seven total goals during that stretch.

“He’s emerging, I think, this whole year,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “He’s playing at a high level, that’s for sure.”

Aho and Martin Necas share the team lead with 21 goals apiece, two more than All-Star selection Andrei Svechnikov. Those three players all had one goal in the first meeting this season with Los Angeles, a 4-2 Hurricanes road victory on Dec. 3.

The Hurricanes are coming off Sunday’s 4-1 victory against the Boston Bruins in a matchup of the teams with the best records in the NHL.

“All our guys played great,” Brind’Amour said of the victory over the Bruins, who sit atop the NHL with 81 points. “We deserved that one.”

Carolina has won five games in a row, owns an eight-game points streak and now has a convincing victory over the Bruins to keep them confident for the road ahead.

“It’s always a good barometer to see how you stack up against them,” Carolina defenseman Brent Burns said.

Through just 49 games, Carolina already has become the 14th team in NHL history to have three goalies with double-digit victories.

Frederik Andersen, who has missed chunks of time with injuries, became the latest to reach that mark against Boston. Andersen’s record is 10-3-0, while Antti Raanta is 12-2-3 and Pyotr Kochetkov is 10-4-5.

The Kings are contending for the top spot in the Pacific Division thanks to five victories in their last seven road games.

Going from facing the Lighting to the Hurricanes means another big task for the Kings.

“There are a few teams in the league that are good teams and favorites, if you will,” Kings captain Anze Kopitar said. “We always get good challenges from them along the way.”

For the Kings, the game at Carolina will be the close of a six-game road trip and it will be their last game prior to the All-Star break. Los Angeles is 3-2-0 on the trip after falling 5-2 on Saturday at Tampa Bay.

“Carolina plays a bit of a different game, and we have to adjust to what they’re doing,” Kings coach Todd McLellan said. “(This trip is) getting long and just try and prepare mentally for a team that plays a lot of pace and fires a lot of pucks.”

Kings left winger Kevin Fiala added to his All-Star credentials with one goal and four assists over the past four games to reach 17 goals and 35 assists on the season.

Los Angeles is 1-for-9 on power plays across the last three games. Yet the Kings were 10-for-10 on penalty kills with two short-handed goals during those games. The Hurricanes killed off all six Boston power plays, with special teams in the spotlight Tuesday.

–Field Level Media