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Pacioretty Scores Twice In Hurricanes Shootout Loss to Blue Jackets

Max Pacioretty’s first two goals with the Hurricanes weren’t enough in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Blue Jackets.

Carolina Hurricanes v Columbus Blue Jackets Photo by Emilee Chinn/NHLI via Getty Images

The Carolina Hurricanes couldn’t get out of their own way on Saturday against the Columbus Blue Jackets, and they paid for their mistakes with a tough 4-3 shootout loss on the road.

For the second game in a row, the story should be about Max Pacioretty, who netted his first two goals as a member of the Hurricanes, but instead, it’s about how the team couldn’t manage to win a game that they likely should have won. Directly on the heels of a franchise-record winning streak, their losing streak is now at three games.

Plenty of things, both good and bad, came in pairs for the Hurricanes, starting in the second period.

An Andrei Svechnikov offensive zone cross-checking penalty on Andrew Peeke put the Blue Jackets on the power play. With a native of Barnaul, Russia, in the penalty box, another native of Barnaul, Russia, got the scoring going.

Kirill Marchenko scored a dazzling, Martin Necas-like wrap-around goal to put the home team in front.

Less than two minutes later, Svechnikov took another penalty, again on Peeke, and again, Marchenko scored. The goal made it 2-0, and the Hurricanes were squarely behind the eight-ball with momentum sliding in the opposite direction.

They needed a response, and they did get one. Less than two minutes after Marchenko’s second tally, Pacioretty got on the board with his first goal as a Hurricane to cut the deficit in half.

Aided by three power-play opportunities, the goal lit a spark in the team in the second half of the middle frame. An Erik Gudbranson roughing penalty opened the door for the Hurricanes to tie the game, and they did just that by way of a Brady Skjei snap-shot from the heart of the slot.

Skjei’s goal was his eighth of the season and his second in as many games, putting him just one goal back of his career-high from a season ago. Skjei then drew a Patrick Laine tripping penalty at 18:18 of the second period, putting the Hurricanes back on the man advantage.

Pacioretty’s first goal as a Hurricanes was a flukey one, but his second goal was more in line with the goals he normally scores, receiving a pass from Svechnikov and firing a shot that beat Joonas Korpisalo on his short side to give the club their first lead of the night.

The fun ended there for the Hurricanes. Marchenko tallied his third goal of the game just over five minutes into the third period, the first NHL hat trick for the talented forward in his rookie campaign.

The rest of the third period was low on action as the Hurricanes and Blue Jackets combined for just 11 total pucks on goal, and the game went to overtime. The extra frame had one shot on goal between the two teams, and the game went into a shootout.

As they did in regulation time, the Hurricanes fell behind 2-0, but they fought back and tied the score with goals from Svechnikov and Teuvo Teravainen. Their second 2-goal comeback ended in heartbreak, though, with a Kent Johnson goal in the top of the sudden-death fifth round.

The cannon sounded, which was bad news for the road Hurricanes, who saw their losing streak stretch to three games.

The team managed to salvage a point in the standings, but after the loss to Nashville, a point does little to soothe the pain of another loss that likely should have been a win. Carolina put 42 shots on the net and allowed just 18.

Antii Raanta made 15 saves in the game. The loss ended his win streak at seven decisions. Pacioretty’s pair of goals were the highlight for the Hurricanes, who benefitted from a pair of power-play goals in the second period.

The team will return home and prepare for a Tuesday night home game against the New Jersey Devils. It’ll be a rematch of sorts for them after the Hurricanes went to New Jersey and secured a 5-4 shootout win on the first day of 2023.