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Hurricanes stay undefeated, beat Blue Jackets 5-1

The Hurricanes put together a dominant special teams performance in their 5-1 win over the Blue Jackets.

Carolina Hurricanes v Columbus Blue Jackets Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

The Jake Bean revenge game doesn’t hit quite as hard as the Jesperi Kotkaniemi revenge game. Still, nevertheless, the Carolina Hurricanes followed up their fun win in Montreal with a trip to Columbus to do battle with the Blue Jackets.

Saturday night’s matchup wasn’t as dramatic as Thursday’s, but it did render the same result, with the Hurricanes pulling out a 5-1 win over the Jackets and improving to a perfect 4-0 record to open up the 2021-22 season.

A rush of back and forth action in the opening minutes of the first period eventually led to an early ice-breaking goal for the Hurricanes from a familiar customer.

Jesper Fast netted his third goal of the young season after Jordan Staal and Nino Niederreiter combined to force a turnover from former Hurricanes Jake Bean behind the Columbus net.

The Hurricanes continued to mount pressure after the game’s first goal, and defenseman Brady Skjei was in the middle of all of the action. His active play in the offensive zone led to the lanky defenseman dicing through a couple of Columbus defenders and sending a shot on the net that got batted home by Andrei Svechnikov. Unfortunately, that goal was waved off immediately due to his stick being well above the crossbar.

Skjei came right back and nearly scored a goal on his next shift, but he was denied by an outstretched Joonas Korpisalo.

An offensive zone high stick from Columbus defenseman Vladislav Gakrikov at 13:28 of the first period bloodied up Nino Niederreiter and gifted the Hurricanes a prime opportunity to extend their lead.

And they did.

Svechnikov learned from his no-goal and decided to simply shoot the puck off of someone else and into the net. Vincent Trocheck was the lucky recipient of that shot. It bounced off his body and into the net to make it a 2-0 game.

A couple of defensive zone turnovers made things dicey at times in the first period, but Frederik Andersen was on his game, and the Hurricanes closed out the opening 20 with complete control of the momentum, and they had a 2-0 lead to show for it.

That momentum carried over into the second period as the Hurricanes had non-stop possession of the puck in the offensive zone throughout the course of several minutes. The Blue Jackets survived that barrage and came back with one of their own.

A strong shift from Columbus ended with Tony DeAngelo getting the gate for hooking in front of Andersen. Then Brett Pesce joined him in the penalty box just a few seconds later to set the Blue Jackets up with a lengthy 5-on-3 opportunity that they capitalized on.

Boone Jenner’s net-front drive resulted in the puck pinballing through the legs of Andersen to cut the Canes’ lead in half just over seven minutes into the second period.

Carolina successfully killed off the remainder of that Columbus power play before getting another man advantage of their own. Their best chance came from a Martin Necas one-timer with three seconds left, but Korpisalo got across to make a fantastic stop.

The Blue Jackets didn’t get quite as lucky when they took another penalty at 14:05.

The first unit came up empty, but again it was the second unit that got the best chance of the power play, and it resulted in a goal. Jesperi Kotkaniemi set up Pesce for a long-range blast. Jordan Staal was camped out in front and hammered home the rebound chance to give the Hurricanes their second two-goal lead of the night.

Columbus threatened late in the second period, but a handful of big saves from Andersen helped Carolina retain their two-goal through 40 minutes.

The Hurricanes did good work at their own blue line at the opening of the third period, limiting the Blue Jackets’ rush attempts and ultimately keeping them at bay through the first few shifts of the frame.

As expected, special teams play continued to play a role in this game. Gustav Nyquist clipped Trocheck at the Columbus blue line and gave Carolina another chance on the man advantage.

The early returns for the power play were dreadful. The Canes gave up rush chance after rush chance and failed to gain possession of the puck. That was until the Hurricanes got the only chance they needed in the form of an absolute snipe from Sebastian Aho from the top of the slot to pad the lead to three goals.

Aho’s third goal in two games served as a dagger for the Blue Jackets and ended up putting the game out of reach.

A Teuvo Teravainen hooking penalty halfway through the period gave Columbus a chance to carve into the Carolina lead (it wouldn’t be their last), but it was the penalty killing group that got the best chance of the sequence as Martin Necas found Aho all alone in front of the net. His bid for another multi-goal game was shut down on a great lunging save from Korpisalo.

Ian Cole then got called for holding, and the veteran laughed in disapproval as he skated to the box with 7:51 left in the third period. Again, the Hurricanes got the best chance of the sequence, this time thanks to a long breakaway chance from Jordan Staal that was stopped by Korpisalo.

Trocheck put the game away with 3:47 left in the game off of a gorgeous saucer pass from Svechnikov to make it a 5-1 game, and that’s how it ended.

It was an all-around dominant effort for much of the game for Carolina, fueled by a dominant power play. The Canes went three for six on the man advantage and three for four on the penalty kill. Their special teams work was the most significant difference in the game.

Andersen put together another brilliant start, stopping 27 of 28 shots. Trocheck netted his first two goals of the season and joined Staal and Svechnikov in having multi-point nights.

The Hurricanes will return home to take on the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday night.