The Canes dominated the puck and the play, outshooting Columbus 50-17 in a game that honestly could have been even worse than the score indicated.
Carolina was good from the get go but took a little bit to break through on the scoresheet, but once the goals started coming they kept on coming. Jordan Staal scored his third goal in the last seven games to make it 1-0, with Teuvo Teravainen tallying on the power play later in the second period.
Nino Niederreiter and Vincent Trocheck added early third-period goals to blow open the floodgates, as some up-tempo play and wonderful, though not often needed, goaltending from Frederik Andersen paved the way to victory.
Andersen was great as he picked up his third shutout of the season, making a couple big stops in the third period to preserve that. In the other net was Jean-Francois Berube, who stood on his head early to keep the game close in a 4646-save losing effort.
The first period was mostly uneventful, as Carolina kind of dominated the play but couldn’t find an upper edge on the scoreboard. The Canes outshot the Blue Jackets 16-3 in the period, out-chanced them 13-3 and held a 26-8 advantage in CF heading.
The second period started out with more of the same, as the Canes controlled the puck and the possession while not quite having the finishing touch to find the back of the net.
That changed right before the midway point of the game, as Staal opened the scoring with a goal that was a nice little microcosm of the game to that point. Staal got in behind the defense and was denied by Berube one-on-one, sticking with it and putting in maybe the fourth or fifth chance Carolina had on the sequence.
This is what determination looks like pic.twitter.com/hkTbxxV4fF— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) February 26, 2022
A little bit later in the second period the Canes made it 2-0, as Teravainen netted as quick of a power-play goal as you can. Sebastian Aho won the man-advantage-opening faceoff back to Teravainen, who placed a beautiful wrister past Berube to double the lead.
Carolina’s 2-0 lead after two periods didn’t entirely reflect the level of the Canes’ dominance, but the floodgates absolutely opened up early in the third period to help fix that.
Niederreiter made it 3-0 on a really heady play, as Berube made a bad clearance attempt and found himself out of net. Niederreiter collected it behind the net and banked the puck in off of the Columbus netminder.
Nino is so good he can score from BEHIND the goal pic.twitter.com/m7b9qHKVRU— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) February 26, 2022
Just 36 seconds later, a high-bouncing puck dropped perfectly to the feet of Trocheck in the slot, who blasted it past Berube to make it 4-0.
But he made this look so easy pic.twitter.com/OkDXOaeVn8— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) February 26, 2022
The Hurricanes continued to dictate the play as the game reached its end, even killing off a fourth Columbus power play on the night.
The Canes will be back in action Sunday afternoon at home against Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers.