Blue Jackets blank Hurricanes
RALEIGH, N.C. — Yegor Chinakhov scored two goals and Elvis Merzlikins posted a 31-save shutout as the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Carolina Hurricanes 6-0 on Thursday night.
Emil Bemstrom, Patrik Laine, Cole Sillinger and Jack Roslovic also scored for the Blue Jackets, who squandered a 4-0 lead against Carolina earlier this month. Ex-Hurricane Jake Bean and Eric Robinson each had two assists.
The Hurricanes were shut out for the first time this season.
Carolina goalie Frederik Andersen gave up four goals on 32 shots before being pulled after Laine and Chinakhov scored in a 32-second span early in the third period.
For the second time in less than two weeks, the Blue Jackets held a 4-0 lead on Carolina. This time, they built on that — unlike Jan. 1 when the Hurricanes rallied to win 7-4 in Columbus.
Bemstrom got his first goal of the season for the only first-period scoring. Chinakhov’s breakaway resulted in the only scoring in the second as the Blue Jackets were on their way to just their second win in their last six games.
The Hurricanes, who had a six-game point streak snapped, played for the first time this season without defenseman Jaccob Slavin, who entered the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol this week.
Chinakhov, a first-round draft pick by Columbus in 2020, had two goals in 25 previous career games.
So he doubled his total in slightly more than 13 minutes of game time.
Jack LaFontaine was Carolina’s backup goalie, his first game as a professional. LaFontaine left the University of Minnesota when he was signed to an entry-level contract Sunday.
LaFontaine entered the game with 14:57 remaining. He gave up Sillinger’s breakaway goal on the first shot he faced.
Antti Raanta has been the No. 2 goalie for the Hurricanes for most of the season, though he’s out with an injury.
The team assigned goalie Alex Lyon to the American Hockey League prior to Thursday’s game.
Andersen joined teammate Sebastian Aho as selections to represent the Metropolitan Division at the NHL All-Star Weekend on Feb. 4-5 at Las Vegas. It will be the second All-Star appearance for each of them.
Carolina’s Rod Brind’Amour already had been named as a coach for All-Star Weekend.
Defenseman Zach Werenski was picked from the Blue Jackets.
Blue Jackets: At the Florida Panthers on Saturday night.
Hurricanes: Host the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday afternoon.