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Canes’ blue-liners drop Blue Jackets in Columbus

Led by five goals from defensemen, the Carolina Hurricanes blasted the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-2 Thursday night on the road.

Carolina Hurricanes v Columbus Blue Jackets Photo by Ben Jackson/NHLI via Getty Images

Led by the first two-goal game of Brett Pesce’s NHL career — and five goals in total from Canes’ blue liners on the night — the Carolina Hurricanes topped the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-2 Thursday night in Columbus for Rod Brind’Amour’s 200th win as a head coach.

Pesce scored in the first and the third period, while his fellow defensemen Brent Burns, Jalen Chatfield and Jaccob Slavin joined the scoring. Seth Jarvis added Carolina’s sixth goal of the game as the only forward to score. In net for the Hurricanes, Frederik Andersen played for the first time since Nov. 6, stopping 21 of 23 shots faced while putting together a strong return performance.

It didn’t take long at all for the Hurricanes to provide Andersen with some goal support in his first game back, as Pesce netted his third of the season — and first this year in regulation — to make it 1-0 just 2:34 into the game.

The Canes lost an offensive-zone faceoff but immediately won the puck back, getting it along the boards to Pesce. The defenseman rifled a laser through traffic and past Joonas Korpisalo to open things up for the Canes.

Carolina doubled its lead a little while later on a great little set piece on a 4-on-4 faceoff. The Canes won the draw and patiently let the play develop, with Burns wrapping the puck around the net to push it in past Korpisalo and make it 2-0.

Sean Kuraly got one back for Columbus with five minutes left to play in the opening frame, but Andersen did some great work in that final stretch after to maintain Carolina’s lead heading into the first break.

After a second period that was a bit of a battle, Chatfield made it 3-1 in the final five minutes of the frame with an absolute gem of a shorthanded goal. Teuvo Teravainen did great work to spring Chatfield on the shorthanded break, and the Canes’ blue-line powered to the net and went forehand-backhand to roof one past Korpisalo.

The Hurricanes had two opportunities to put the game to rest on the power play early in the third period, but both man advantages came up empty.

However, Pesce made it 4-1 shortly after the second power play with his second of the night and the fourth of the game for the Canes’ blue liners. A scramble led to Pesce slapping a shot past Korpisalo, who had lost his mask.

The teams went to 4-on-4 again after a scrap between Erik Gudbranson and Stefan Noesen, and once again it was a Carolina defensemen that converted for a goal. This time it was Slavin, who smoked one past Korpisalo to make it 5-1.

Columbus answered back quickly as Johnny Gaudreau cut it to 5-2, but it was just a small consolation on the loss for the Blue Jackets. But just to be sure, Carolina scored again, as Jarvis netted a needed goal to get things to 6-2.

While the Canes did win, they also had some misfortunate on the injury front. Max Pacioretty left the game in the first period and never returned, though the team did specify the injury had nothing to do with his Achilles. Then in the third period, Martin Necas got shaken up and left the game, though he did return.

The Hurricanes will be back home Saturday night against the Penguins.