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Laine benched in second period of Blue Jackets win against Hurricanes

Forward doesn't play final 26:19 of fourth game with Columbus after trade

by Craig Merz / Independent Correspondent

COLUMBUS -- Patrik Laine was benched for the final 26:19 in the Columbus Blue Jackets' 3-2 win against the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday.

Laine was on the ice when Carolina's Brock McGinn tied the game 2-2 at 12:46 of the second period. The forward finished his shift at 13:41 and did not play again.

Columbus coach John Tortorella said the benching was not about the one play but learning a new system.

"I think it's part of the process of understanding our team concept, how we do things here, the discipline of being a pro," Tortorella said. "All that stuff comes into play."

Laine was acquired in a trade with forward Jack Roslovic from the Winnipeg Jets on Jan. 23 for forward Pierre-Luc Dubois , who was benched in his final game with the Blue Jackets on Jan. 21.

"It wasn't because of the missed assignment (on McGinn's goal)," Tortorella said. "There's a number of things that come into play. That will stay in the locker room.

"It's what I feel I need to do. The last thing I want to do is bench a player. It's an easy thing to bench a player. Honestly, that's the last thing I want to do, but if I think I need to do it, then I need to do it."

Video: CAR@CBJ: McGinn lays out to put home rebound

Defenseman Dean Kukan also was benched Monday, his last shift ending 6:19 into the second period. 

Laine had no shots on goal and was minus-1 in 11:14 in his fourth game with Columbus after scoring three goals in the previous two. He was not made available to media afterward.

Roslovic, who scored the winning goal with 4:36 left in the third period, said he thinks he knows how Laine will respond to being benched.

"I think he's going to be one of the best players next game," he said. "He's a tough kid, he's going to bounce back hard."

Forward Cam Atkinson said Laine is coming into a group that has high expectations for each other.

"He'll be the first to admit he just has to be better," Atkinson said. "It's plain and simple, and he knows it. That's what we have to do, whether you're a new guy, an old guy, we have to hold each other accountable. It doesn't matter who you are or where you play, we have to all buy in."

Roslovic said he and Laine are getting used to how Tortorella coaches with shuffling lines and benching players.

"We know that it can happen at any time, and if you're not on your game and you're not playing hard, it's going to happen" Roslovic said. "He's going to scramble lines and he's not afraid to do it. You've seen him do it for a while now, I'm sure. I think he just finds the guys who are working hard and are going to make the team better."

Tortorella said he doesn't expect any lingering problems with Laine.

"I'm sure [Laine] and I will talk about certain things that we're looking for here and try to make him understand," Tortorella said. "I've got to listen to him too."

The Blue Jackets are off Tuesday and scheduled to practice Wednesday before playing at the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday.

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