Frank Vatrano’s hat trick powers Ducks past Hurricanes in home opener

Ducks forward Frank Vatrano celebrates after scoring against the Carolina Hurricanes at Honda Center.
Ducks forward Frank Vatrano, center, celebrates after scoring in the second period of the Ducks’ 6-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes at Honda Center on Sunday.
(Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)
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Frank Vatrano scored three goals for his fourth career hat trick, Pavel Mintyukov got his first NHL goal and the Ducks defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 6-3 Sunday for their eighth straight victory in a home opener.

The Ducks are tied with Boston and Toronto for the longest active winning streaks in home openers. The Ducks have also earned points in each of their last 11 Honda Center debuts since 2013 (10-0-1).

Cam Fowler had a goal and an assist, and Sam Carrick also scored as the Ducks took a 3-0 lead less than 13 minutes into the game. The Ducks were clinging to a one-goal lead late in the third before putting it away with a pair of empty-net goals, including Vatrano’s at 18:41.


Ryan Strome and Mason McTavish each had two assists, and Lukas Dostal made 32 saves for Anaheim.

Jack Eichel had a goal and an assist, Adin Hill made 22 saves and the Vegas Golden Knights beat the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday night.

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It was the first victory for Ducks coach Greg Cronin, who was hired during the offseason after five seasons behind the bench for the Colorado Avalanche’s AHL affiliate.

Teuvo Teravainen had two goals — giving him four in Carolina’s first three games — and Martin Necas also scored. Antti Raanta stopped 19 shots.

Vatrano gave the Ducks a 2-0 lead when his wrist shot from the right faceoff circle went between Raanta’s legs and into the net. The goal was also the Ducks’ second in a span of 99 seconds after Carrick got the Ducks on the scoreboard 6:52 into the game.

Mintyukov, the 10th overall pick in the 2022 draft, made it 3-0 with 7:54 left in the first. The Russian defenseman got a backhand pass from Jackson LaCombe and put a wrist shot by Raanta, who was out of position.

At 19 years, 324 days, Mintyukov is the fifth youngest defenseman in the franchise’s 30-year history to score his first goal. It was also LaCombe’s first NHL point, making it the fifth time in NHL history that two defensemen recorded their first career goal and first assist on the same play. The last time it happened was in 2019 by Adam Fox and Ryan Lindgren of the New York Rangers.


Teravainen got the Hurricanes to 3-1 early in the second period when he went top shelf after batting the puck to the ice when it took a strange bounce off the boards.

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Vatrano — who had a career-high 41 points last season — then made it 4-1 at 16:44 of the second period with a wrist shot after getting the pass from Strome behind the net.

Teravainen had a slap shot from just inside the blue line on the power play at 3:01 of the third period to make it 4-2.

Necas scored on the power play to pull Carolina within one with 4:31 remaining.

Up next for the Ducks: vs. Dallas on Thursday night at Honda Center.