RALEIGH, NC (AP) — Ethan Bear scored the first goal of the game with 5:40 left and Sebastian Aho added an empty net to help the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Colorado Avalanche 2-0 on Thursday evening.
Bear picked up a loose puck along the boards near the Avalanche bench and fired a long shot that slid through Darcy Kuemper. It was the defining moment in a clash of the league’s top two teams in scoring percentage, one that came after the Hurricanes and Avalanche went empty on 68 shots to that point.
The Hurricanes added the deciding score after the Avalanche fired Kuemper with about 3 minutes left, Aho stealing Gabriel Landeskog’s pass near center ice and skating for the score with 1:32 left to seal the one- this.
Antti Raanta made 36 saves for his second shutout this season for the Hurricanes, who won eight of 10. Carolina, which finished second to Colorado in having 74.1% of available points, also had points in 10 of 11 games.
Kuemper finished with 35 saves for the Avalanche, which entered with a league-best 87 points and had 75% of the points available this season. Colorado has now lost four of five.
Colorado’s Cale Makar saw the end of his franchise-record 13 assist streak, which was the fifth-longest by a defenseman in NHL history.
It marked Raanta’s third straight start in net for Carolina, as the Hurricanes wait for No. 1 starter Frederik Andersen to return from an unspecified injury.
Coach Rod Brind’Amour said earlier Thursday that Andersen “isn’t quite 100 per cent” as he works in training, and that will be his decision when he’s ready. Brind’Amour said he thinks Andersen could be back this weekend.
Andersen entered the night tied for second in the league in wins (29) with Florida’s Sergei Bobrovsky.
Avalanche: Return home to host Calgary on Sunday.
Hurricanes: Host Philadelphia on Saturday.
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