RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Even as the only All-Star Game participant for the Carolina Hurricanes earlier this month, Andrei Svechnikov hadn’t produced star-like numbers lately.
That changed in a hurry Tuesday night when Svechnikov scored twice in the first eight minutes to break a 19-game goal drought and the Carolina Hurricanes beat the St. Louis Blues 4-1.
“I wasn’t worried,” Svechnikov said. “I know what kind of player I am. It just didn’t come for me. I was pretty happy it did (come in this game).”
Sebastian Aho had a second-period goal, Seth Jarvis added a goal and two assists and Brent Burns had two assists. Svechnikov also had an assist as the Hurricanes won their fourth game in a row and for the 11th time in their last 12.
Frederik Andersen stopped 35 shots for his fifth consecutive victory.
“It has been a while for me,” Svechnikov said. “You score, it gives you a little bit confidence and you just try to create even more chances. That’s what I was doing.”
Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said he wasn’t concerned about Svechnikov’s recent statistics.
“He has been really good this year,” Brind’Amour said. “Even this last however many games he went without scoring, he was impactful pretty much every night and help making the team better. That’s really the main thing.”
Justin Faulk scored for St. Louis. The Blues lost their third in a row and haven’t won a road game since Jan. 8. They’ve dropped five straight away from home.
Jordan Binnington made 33 saves.
“I thought we battled,” Blues coach Craig Berube said. “We got to score a couple more goals.”
With the Carolina organization still basking in the glow of Saturday night’s Stadium Series game when about 57,000 fans watched a 4-1 win over the Washington Capitals at nearby Carter-Finley Stadium, the Hurricanes didn’t allow there to be a gap in the momentum.
“You’re so amped up from the weekend,” Jarvis said. “It was definitely a fun week, but coming back here, the crowd is still loud as ever and fun to play in front of.”
Brind’Amour said he expected challenges in building energy after the weekend.
“I thought we were OK, and that was probably the best I was going to hope for,” he said. “I didn’t think we had a huge letdown at all. That was probably the thing I was most happy about.”
Svechnikov scored 1:26 into the game. That ended what had been the longest goal drought in the winger’s 338-game NHL career.
“That was a rip,” Jarvis said of the shot. “So anytime he starts a game off like that, you know it’s going to be a good night.”
Svechnikov’s second goal came at 7:57, converting a rebound of a Jarvis attempt.
Faulk, a former Carolina defenseman, scored at 3:59 of the second period and threatened again later in the period.
Then Aho’s goal at 16:36 of the second restored the two-goal cushion. It was his team-leading 25th goal this season, giving him 12 in the last 13 games.