RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Brent Burns, Brady Skjei and Jalen Chatfield scored to give Carolina another productive offensive outing from its blueliners while Frederik Andersen was strong in net to help the Hurricanes beat the Minnesota Wild 5-2 on Thursday night.
Burns and Skjei each scored during a three-goal second period for Carolina, while Chatfield added a third goal from a defenseman for the Hurricanes.
Carolina entered the game with 20 goals and 67 points from defensemen since Nov. 25, which was third in the NHL behind Winnipeg and the New York Rangers.
Teuvo Teravainen added a short-handed goal in the second period while Martin Necas scored in the third, helping the Hurricanes blow the game open after a scoreless first period against Marc-Andre Fleury.
Andersen, meanwhile, remained steady all night to finish with 30 saves, including multiple stops that had Carolina fans chanting his name.
Kirill Kaprizov and Matt Boldy scored for the Wild. Minnesota had won three straight games and earned at least a point in six straight road games, but those streaks ended with Carolina pushing ahead in the second period and then scoring twice early in the third to take a 5-1 lead.
Fleury finished with 24 saves for Minnesota, which led 1-0 on Kaprizov’s putaway at the right post on the power play. But Burns answered less than two minutes later, keeping the puck in the zone and then skating in on Fleury — who had lost his stick and couldn’t poke the puck away — before going forehand-to-backhand for the score.
Skjei followed about 4 1/2 minutes later by squeezing the puck between Fleury’s left shoulder and the post, while Chatfield beat Fleury early in the third with a straightaway shot.
Carolina forward Andrei Svechnikov was ejected midway through the third period on a game-misconduct penalty for cross-checking Minnesota’s Brandon Duhaime.
Duhaime went head-first into the boards on Svechnikov’s high shove from behind at the 11:33 mark, setting off a brief tussle between the teams. Duhaime got up on his own and appeared to be OK.
That forced Carolina, leading 5-2, to turn away a 5-minute major penalty.
Carolina left wing Max Pacioretty returned to the lineup after missing two games with a lower-body injury, but exited with 19.3 seconds left when he was injured on a non-contact play.
He was skating with the puck near the goal and the boards when he pulled up and grabbed at the back of his right leg. He had to be helped to the locker room while putting no weight on that leg — the same that required surgery for a torn Achilles tendon over the summer.
NOTES: Minnesota defenseman Matt Dumba was a healthy scratch to miss his first game. Coach Dean Evason said earlier Thursday it was for on-ice issues but didn’t get into specifics. Kaprizov’s second-period score marked the 100th of his career. Teravainen’s goal ended an eight-game goal-less streak.
Wild: At Florida on Saturday.
Hurricanes: At the New York Islanders on Saturday.