Sebastian Aho said it had nothing to do with him having a hat trick or a career-high five points, and Teuvo Teravainen having three points, all assists.
Aho was going to slay Teravainen, if the Carolina Hurricanes won the game Saturday. That was predetermined.
This story is a subscriber exclusive
"Turbo told me to stab him," Aho said Monday, smiling. "I was following orders."
Stab him Aho did. On Star Wars Night at PNC Arena, after the Canes smacked the Minnesota Wild 6-2, the postgame Storm Surge had the players pairing off and using their hockey sticks as light-sabers in mock fights to the death.
Down went Teravainen, slain by Aho, who said he has seen and likes the Star Wars movies while also specifying "not the new ones, the old ones."
The Canes had won and had fun. They did that a lot last year, starting the Surge after home-ice wins, and will continue to do the same this season.
"It's really important to have the fun but usually there's a lot of work before the fun," Aho said after Monday's practice. "You have to have the confidence so you can make those plays and then it starts feeling fun.
"Obviously winning helps. But it's hard work before fun. And when you win and have fun it's obviously the best time to play hockey."
The Canes have won 17 times this season and 10 victories have come at PNC Arena, leading to the postgame entertainment that Canes fans now expect at home. Aho's three goals against the Wild had hats hitting the ice Saturday, the large crowd was loud and enjoyed itself and the postgame Star Wars action only added to it.