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Columbus Earns 4-1 Road Win At Carolina

by Staff Writer / Columbus Blue Jackets
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Pascal Leclaire stopped 25 shots and the Columbus Blue Jackets kept Stanley Cup champion Carolina winless in the preseason by beating the Hurricanes 4-1 on Friday night.

Fredrik Modin, Jason Chimera and Dan Fritsche scored for the Blue Jackets (4-3), and Geoff Platt added an empty-net goal. Columbus won its first road game of the preseason by defeating Carolina for the second time in a six-day span.

Mike Commodore scored for Carolina (0-4), which hasn't won since beating the Edmonton Oilers in Game 7 of the Cup finals three months ago for the franchise's first championship. In their four preseason games, the Hurricanes have been outscored 20-10.

The Blue Jackets started strong, with Modin giving Columbus an early lead midway through the first period. Carolina goaltender Cam Ward deflected Jaroslav Balastik's wrist shot, but Modin tapped in the rebound at 7:48.

Chimera made it 2-0 early in the second period when his short-handed wrist shot beat Ward. Commodore pulled Carolina within one about three minutes later when he scored a power-play goal from just inside the blue line.

Fritsche restored the Blue Jackets' two-goal lead in the final minute of the second period when he took a pass from Platt on a two-on-one break and beat John Grahame for his second goal against the Hurricanes this preseason. Platt added a short-handed empty-net goal from behind the center line in the final minute.

Ward played about half the game for Carolina, making nine saves and allowing two goals before giving way to Grahame - who stopped 12 shots and allowed one goal.

The Hurricanes played short-handed after a trade earlier in the day sent defenseman Oleg Tverdovsky and top prospect Jack Johnson to the Los Angeles Kings for forward Eric Belanger and defenseman Tim Gleason.

Carolina general manager Jim Rutherford said he expects Belanger and Gleason to join the team Saturday and skate in Sunday night's preseason finale at Washington.

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