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game recap

Blue Jackets score six, shut out Hurricanes

Pull away with four goals in third period; Merzlikins makes 31 saves

by Kurt Dusterberg / Independent Correspondent

Recap: CBJ 6, CAR 0

Chinakhov, Merzlikins propel Blue Jackets to 6-0 win

Yegor Chinakhov tallied twice while Elvis Merzlikins made 31 saves to power the Blue Jackets to a 6-0 shutout win against the Hurricanes

  • 05:07 •

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Elvis Merzlikins made 31 saves, and the Columbus Blue Jackets defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 6-0 at PNC Arena on Thursday.

"Carolina's a really, really good hockey team," said Merzlikins, who got his second shutout of the season and ninth in the NHL. "They're fast, they're strong. The puck moves really, really quick. I just enjoyed the game."

Video: CBJ@CAR: Merzlikins records 9th career shutout

Yegor Chinakhov scored twice, and Jack Roslovic and Emil Bemstrom each had a goal and an assist for the Blue Jackets (17-17-1), who had lost four of their previous five games. Eric Robinson and Jake Bean each had two assists.

"It started right from the first shift," Columbus coach Brad Larsen said. "We had a high compete level tonight. We know what that team is all about and how dangerous and good they are. It was a full 60 (minutes)."

Frederik Andersen allowed four goals on 28 shots for the Hurricanes (24-8-2) before being replaced by Jack LaFontaine, who made one save in his NHL debut. He signed a one-year, entry-level contract Sunday, turning pro in the middle of the college hockey season with the University of Minnesota.

"That was not good, pretty much not a good effort by everybody," Carolina coach Rod Brind'Amour said after Carolina played its first game in five days and was shut out for the first time this season in its 34th game. "Haven't really had those ever. That was a really poor effort.

"I felt like we were going to be scrambly and rusty. I expected that, but that doesn't affect how hard you've got to work. We didn't come ready in that department, so that's what you get."

Columbus took a 1-0 lead at 8:43 of the first period. Andersen stopped two shots by Roslovic before Bemstrom knocked in a rebound at the edge of the crease.

Chinakhov took a pass from Vladislav Gavrikov and scored on a breakaway with a low wrist shot for a 2-0 lead at 11:56.

The Blue Jackets scored three goals in a span of 1:07 in the third period.

Video: CBJ@CAR: Blue Jackets score three goals in 1:07

Patrik Laine made it 3-0 at 4:26 on a one-timer from the left face-off circle.

Chinakhov scored his second goal after a toe drag in the slot for a 4-0 lead at 5:03. Andersen was pulled after the goal.

"I've never done that before, never practiced that," Chinakhov said. "It looked like the goalie waited for a shot and I made the move. It just worked out that way."

Cole Sillinger scored 30 seconds later on a breakaway to make it 5-0 at 5:33 on the first shot LaFontaine faced.

"That was my first breakaway, so it was good to score," Sillinger said. "I know it was a different goalie, but I saw [Chinakhov] score blocker side coming down the same side. I saw an opening and just shot it there."

Roslovic took a pass from Alexandre Texier and scored on a breakaway at 14:26 for the 6-0 final.

"We were giving up breakaway after breakaway," Brind'Amour said. "I'm not going to leave 'Freddie' in there to keep having that. I figure, maybe we throw [LaFontaine] in and we decide, oh, we better not give those up. But that's not what happened. I hate that we threw him in for that, but he got his feet wet a little bit."

It was the first time the teams played each other since Carolina scored seven straight goals to win 7-4 on Jan. 1 at Columbus.

"You don't want to overthink this," Larsen said. "It's one game. We played a good game and I'm happy we did. I think what you take from it is what it felt like on the bench, the engagement. I'm not going to think too far ahead on so much the lessons, other than we played a really solid game. That should be a little bit of a barometer of what it should look and feel like on the effort side."

NOTES: The Blue Jackets scored the second-fastest three goals in their history. They scored three in 51 seconds in a 7-1 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Dec. 22, 2016. … Texier had an assist and two shots on goal in 13:34 after missing two games in COVID-19 protocol. … Andersen was named to the 2022 Honda NHL All-Star Game. … Hurricanes defenseman Brady Skjei had a three-game goal streak end in his 400th NHL game. … Carolina was 1-for-1 on the penalty kill and has killed 30 straight since last allowing a power-play goal Dec. 7 in a 4-2 win at the Winnipeg Jets.

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