Sebastian Aho was too much for the slumping Oilers.
Aho had two goals and an assist as the Carolina Hurricanes won their fourth consecutive game, defeating the Edmonton Oilers 3-1 on Saturday.
The 24-year-old Finnish forward has 12 points in his last five games.
“He is a special player,” Carolina defenceman Jaccob Slavin said of Aho. “We’ve had him for a long time now and we know what he’s capable of and it’s good that everyone else is starting to realize that.
“It’s super special for him. He’s a great guy, a great teammate and he just competes on the ice. It’s great to see him have the success he’s having.”
Nino Niederreiter also scored for the Hurricanes (19-6-1), which improved to 12-3-1 on the road. Carolina starter Frederik Andersen made 22 saves.
“Every night he gives us a chance to win and that’s all you can ask from a goalie,” Aho said. “It was the same story tonight. He made huge saves here and there and it’s great to have him back there.”
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins replied for the Oilers (16-10-0), who are in a free-fall after their hot start to the season with five straight losses.
“Our sense of urgency has to go up. A good start buys us a slump and we have used our slump here,” said Oilers captain Connor McDavid. “It seems when you are slumping that things just don’t go your way and you have got to work extra hard to get out of it, that is just the way it is.
“We have to find a way to get one win and go from there.”
Mikko Koskinen stopped 28-of-31 shots.
The Oilers once again found themselves chasing the game by allowing the first goal as Carolina’s Aho continued his hot play of late, swatting in his own rebound on the power play 7:17 into the opening period.
The Hurricanes made it 2-0 just over six minutes into the second period when Niederreiter beat Oilers goalie Koskinen on a long shot to the blocker side.
Edmonton got back into the game midway through the middle frame as Nugent-Hopkins got one past Andersen with a wrist shot on a partial breakaway for his first goal on home ice in 19 games.
The Oilers had a glorious chance on the power play midway through the third, but Zach Hyman, who would leave the game with an undisclosed injury, missed a wide-open net. There was no update on Hyman’s status after the contest.
Carolina got an insurance marker with 2:44 left as Koskinen fumbled a puck behind the net and it was stolen by Aho, who scored his 15th goal of the season and his fifth goal in the last three games.
The Hurricanes are back in action Sunday night as they head to Vancouver to face the Canucks. The Oilers play the fifth game of a six-game homestand against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday.
Notes: Veteran defenceman Duncan Keith remains out for the Oilers. He is skating and could be back next game. Also out for Edmonton were Mike Smith (lower body), Slater Koekkoek (lower body) and Kris Russell (upper body) Absent for the Hurricanes was Jordan Martinook (ankle), while Tony DeAngelo and Brett Pesce remained out on COVID-19 protocol The game marked the return of defenceman Ethan Bear to Edmonton after being traded in the off-season for forward Warren Foegele It was Vincent Trocheck’s 500th NHL game.