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Recap: Canes Shutout By Blue Jackets, 6-0

LaFontaine makes NHL debut in relief

by Walt Ruff @WaltRuff /

RALEIGH, NC. - For the first time this season the Carolina Hurricanes were held to zero goals, being shutout by the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-0 Thursday.


Highlights | Stats | Video


Three Takeaways

1) Tonight Was Bad, But That's Okay

This evening was the Canes' 34th game of the season. It was the first one in which they were just flat out bad. These games happen. Most, if not all, National Hockey League teams have experienced some sort of outing like this thus far this season. Is it a bummer? Of course. Does it make it any easier to swallow that it was on national television? Absolutely not.

Entering tonight, 24 of the 32 NHL teams had been shut out this season. The Canes became number 25 in this one.

For the first time all year you could just see that the Hurricanes were not sharp.

Nothing lasts forever and the streak of games of which they'd been at least somewhat good was snapped tonight.

These games are going to happen.


2) Give Credit To Columbus

Carolina came out of the gate as the better team, sustaining pressure and controlling play before the evening's first media timeout. Blue Jackets' goaltender Elvis Merzlikins made a few timely stops early, setting the tone for what would be a 31-save shutout for him. He'd go on to make several highlight-reel stops before the night was through, continuously allowing his team the opportunity to keep building on their lead without any hope for the home side.

Several Merzlikins stops transitioned directly into chances for Columbus, who did an exceptional job of quickly transitioning play from their own zone to the Carolina defending end. Courtesy of, the Blue Jackets finished the night with 16 high danger chances, many of them coming in either breakaway or two-on-one fashion. Yes, they scored six, but, it also tells you about the night that Frederik Andersen had before being relieved of his duties.


3) The Penalty Kill Streak Lives On

In a night like where there weren't many positives for the team, the biggest, aside from Jack LaFontaine's NHL debut, was that the team's streak of consecutive penalties killed off reached 30. They were only tasked with one kill this evening and they were successful in keeping Columbus off the board while Ethan Bear served a holding minor.

They are now six shy of matching the franchise record, which has been done twice (2000-01, 2014-15).


Video: CAR Recap: Hurricanes shut out by Blue Jackets



They Said It:

Rod Brind'Amour on what he made of the contest:

"There's no excuse. We weren't sharp and we weren't going to be lights out, but that was not good. Not a good effort by pretty much everybody. We haven't had those really, ever. That was a poor effort. Give the other team credit, they stuck to their game plan. They were going to do it a certain way, the right way, and we were going to look for something else. I told you this before, I thought we were going to be scrambly and rusty, and I expected that, but that doesn't affect how hard you've got to work. We didn't come ready in that department."


Tony DeAngelo sharing if it makes tonight any easier to swallow knowing that it took so long to have a game like this:

"We're not going to go into full panic mode over here about one game. I think we stunk tonight but we know how good of a team we are, we just have to start showing it. I think we've played well for a litte while, we haven't really had one of these games where we haven't played really well. We gotta get back to the way we can play and I think we're all confident that we play that way. We need all 18, 20 guys every night to do it together. We just have to be a whole group and we'll get there."


Jordan Staal describing his thoughts on the most effective way to turn the page from these sorts of situations:

"We just have to get right back into it. That's what we've got here with a quick afternoon game coming up. We do have to get into a groove and start playing games. It's been a frustrating last month, but our group will get into it, we'll get some games under our belts and start playing Carolina Hurricane hockey."



What's Next?:

The team will practice Friday afternoon before a 1 p.m. start against Vancouver on Saturday at PNC Arena.


Bonus Notes:

  • Jack LaFontaine entered in relief of Frederik Andersen during the third period after the Blue Jackets took a 4-0 lead. LaFontaine finished with one save to his name.
  • Brett Pesce played a team-high 23:07 with Jaccob Slavin out of the lineup.
  • This is the first game since December 12 in which the Canes did not earn a point. Their record of 24-8-2 still remains tied for the Metropolitan Division lead.



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