Martin Necas had a goal and two assists to lead the host Carolina Hurricanes to a 4-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets in Raleigh on Wednesday night.
After a scoreless first period, Columbus’ Patrick Laine opened the scoring eleven seconds into the second period, assisted by Zach Werenski. Laine would leave the game due to an injury to his elbow shortly after the goal on a collision with the Hurricanes’ Brett Pesce. The team announced he would not return with an upper-body injury.
Seth Jarvis would tie the game unassisted at 5:12 of the second for Carolina. Cole Sillinger seemed to have a go-ahead goal for Columbus, but it was negated by a controversial offsides call after Sillinger spun into the zone and lost the puck for a split second. The Canes would take their first lead of the season on a goal by Brady Skjei, assisted by Necas and Jesper Kotkaniemi, at 18:30 of the period, and the Canes would enter the third with a lead.
In the third period, Necas and Andrei Svechnikov scored just under three minutes apart to seal the victory for Carolina. Frederik Andersen got the win in goal with 31 saves on the night.
Brent Burns is a good addition to this Hurricanes team. The offensive-minded defenseman had six shots on net in just over 22 minutes of ice time and will add another dimension to an improving power play. Burns and Jacob Slavin provide Carolina with a formidable top-defensive pair. Brett Pesce was a team-high plus-four on defense.
The Canes were dominated at the faceoff dot winning 61 percent of the draws against Columbus. Kotkaniemi and Derek Stepan were each north of 65 percent. Rod Brind’Amour’s club took advantage of the Blue Jacket’s Sean Kuraly the most as he lost 12 faceoffs in the game.
Newly acquired Johnny Gaudreau had a quiet night in his debut with the Blue Jackets. The former Flames left-wing had two shots on net in just under 18 minutes of ice time and lost linemate Laine to injury in the second period. If Laine is out for an extended period of time, the Blue Jackets will have to juggle lines around to give Gaudreau some offensive help.
The Hurricanes are in San Jose Friday night to face Burns’ former team, the Sharks, while the Blue Jackets host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday.