Mikhail Grigorenko was scratched and Liam Foudy drew back in in his spot. Matiss Kivlenieks was a late scratch with a lower body injury, with Cam Johnson being called up on emergency recall in his place. Finally, Zach Werenski was placed on injured reserve on Saturday. Scott Harrington made his season debut in Werenski’s place.
Here’s what happened.
The first five minutes started slowly with both teams trading possession in the neutral zone. Play was whistled down after Vincent Trochek took an errant flip in the face. Trochek was able to skate off under his own power and go down the tunnel.
Sebastian Aho took a slashing penalty, but Columbus wasted it without taking a shot on net. Immediately afterward, the Hurricanes took another penalty as Alexander Svechnikov took a hooking penalty. This time, Columbus made good as Patrik Laine hammered a one timer past James Reimer. Good lord.
Columbus gave the goal right back, however, Gavrikov had his pocket picked behind his own net. Some slick passing from Carolina saw a back door tap in and the game equalized at one. Brutal turnover and momentum killer by Columbus. Just brutal.
Cam Atkinson took a tripping penalty with 7:56 remaining but the Jackets were able to kill it. Also, Vincent Trochek came back to the bench, apparently okay to continue on. With the minutes winding down, the Jackets ran a set play on a faceoff and a long range Nick Foligno shot beat Reimer for a 2-1 lead. The shot initially appeared to be Foligno’s 200th goal, but was later credited to a tip from Riley Nash for his first of the year.
Carolina had a few chances late, but Columbus was able to escape the period with a 2-1 lead. Columbus looked a mess in their own defensive zone in that period.
After a dust up where Nino Niederrieter hit Max Domi in the back of the leg, both players sat for five minutes for fighting. Carolina, in addition, lost the services of Vincent Trochek who did not return for the second period. Hopefully he is alright.
Carolina came out pressing, forcing Columbus into several awkward defensive zone scrambles but Joonas Korpisalo was able to make a couple key saves to maintain the lead with six minutes gone in the second period. The Jackets really struggled to clear their defensive zone with any sort of possession.
After several minutes of sustained pressure, the Hurricanes capitalized. A clearing pass from Korpisalo was knocked down and the Hurricanes made a tick tack toe play as Michael Del Zotto and Riley Nash were turned around and Korpisalo was out of possession. Scott Harrington was nowhere to be seen for defensive help. Seconds later, with the game tied at 2, Columbus nearly gave Carolina the lead but Korpisalo made a point blank glove save to keep the score even. Nervy moments as Carolina began to take control.
With their first shot of the period at the 14:24 mark, Nick Foligno was able to pick his spot on a rush and this time made no mistake about getting his 200th goal.
Now THAT will be Nick Foligno 200th NHL goal pic.twitter.com/z51LfYGnqp— SB Nation NHL (@SBNationNHL) February 7, 2021
As the period ticked toward its end, Koivu’s line lost a battle below the goal line and the puck worked free and a shot from Brett Pesce found its way past Korpisalo with three minutes to go in the period, tying the game at three. Carolina continued to press and, with less than 90 seconds to go, were rewarded. After a long shift in the defensive zone, a newly returned Vincent Trochek buried the puck past a sprawling Korpisalo. Columbus challenged for offside, but the goal was upheld and Columbus was assessed a delay of game penalty.
Columbus escaped the period just down one, but with 12 shots on net. Not great.
Carolina holds a 4-3 lead and will have 45 seconds of power-play time to start the third period. #CBJ— Jeff Svoboda (@JacketsInsider) February 7, 2021
Shots on goal: 19-12 CAR
Shot attempts: 35-23 CAR
Carolina picked up where they left off, forcing Columbus into awkward defensive zone plays. Columbus was able to generate a shot on goal less than 90 seconds into the period this time, but it was against the run of play as Carolina forced several sprawling saves. On a rush up the ice, Max Domi was able to shovel a pass from Reimer for his second of the year to tie the score at 4 just 2:08 into the third.
Patrik Laine took a hooking penalty and Carolina capitalized with 14:27 remaining in the period. Carolina was able to blow a shot from the point past Korpisalo, credited to Staal from Trochek and Hamilton. Jordan Staal then took an interference penalty with 11:58 remaining, giving the Jackets a chance to get the goal back. Naturally, they did not. To cap off the madness, Carolina hemmed Columbus in after Blue Jackets continued their failing to clear the puck and Dougie Hamilton extended the Canes’ lead to two. The pairing of David Savard and Vladislav Gavrikov got caved in.
Columbus pulled Korpisalo with 2:30 to go, but it didn’t matter as Columbus fell on home ice. Patrik Laine scored a consolation goal with 50 seconds to go, but it didn’t really matter.
Absolutely not good enough, especially from Savard and Gavrikov. Just not good enough. Korpisalo deserved better. He was failed in his defensive zone by his skaters failing to clear the zone consistently.
Carolina Hurricanes 6 Columbus Blue Jackets 5
The Blue Jackets face off against the Hurricanes again on Monday night. Faceoff is set for 7 PM EST.