Carolina Hurricanes, content to “keep playing like we used to,” rally with seven straight goals, lead Columbus Blue Jackets

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Carolina Hurricanes, one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference all season, have more ambitious plans for later in 2022, such as possibly competing for the second championship. the Stanley Cup franchise.

For now, however, they’ll be content with whatever kind of momentum generator they can get, and they’ve started the calendar year with a doozy.

Steven lorentz and Brady Skjei each scored two goals as Carolina made up for a 4-0 deficit with seven unanswered goals en route to a thrilling 7-4 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday.

The Hurricanes scored four times in 3 minutes, 57 seconds in the third period to close a 4-2 deficit. They scored five goals during the period.

“It was a weird game, we were down, and I always felt like we had passed them,” said Skjei. “We knew we had to keep playing the way we were doing and that the goals would come. And they certainly did.”

Nino Niederreiter, Ethan Bear and Andrei Svechnikov all scored goals as well, as Carolina ended the Blue Jackets in the final 31 minutes of the game as they made their comeback.

“We just tried to do what we could to stop their momentum. Let’s be honest, that was the whole game. It wasn’t like they stepped it up there. We built a lead, but it’s a big, strong team that they just got the puck sometimes and they have it all night, ”Columbus coach Brad Larsen noted. “It’s a very good hockey team and they kept coming.

Frederik anderson replaced a struggling one Antti Raanta in goal for the Hurricanes after the veteran allowed three goals on nine shots. Andersen, the beneficiary of improved defense in the back half of the game, saved just eight of nine shots to sign the victory.

Gustav nyquist had one goal and two points in an otherwise forgettable home team performance. Zach Werenski, Adam boqvist and Alexandre texier also scored for the Blue Jackets before the Hurricanes rallied.

“I think that’s something we can learn from them. No matter what the score, they kept playing their game, ”Werenski said of the Hurricanes. “Up 4-0, down 4-0, just play the game like we know how to do.”

It took Carolina a bit to get there, but the Hurricanes certainly ended the game that way.

‘These are the kind of players we have,’ Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour noted. “We have young guys who are very competitive. And I think if you’re like that and you can skate, then you’re going to do well in our system.

Columbus also had a goalie change in the game. Daniel tarasov started and lasted two periods, allowing two goals on 33 shots. Elvis merzlikins allowed four goals on 15 shots in the third period.

“Hockey is weird. It was by no means a lack of effort today. We weren’t tired, at least that’s the feeling I got on the bench, ”said Werenski. “I thought we worked hard the first two periods, got some good rebounds and we had a lead. But at some point in a game we have to release the pressure from our goalkeepers. It looked like the whole game had been played. at our end. At one point we had to be smarter. “

The victory was Carolina’s fourth in a row, and it tied it with the Washington Capitals for first place in the Metropolitan Division. With 47 points, the Hurricanes are tied with Washington and the Tampa Bay Lightning for the league lead.

“I think we played really well, to be honest with you. If you look at the season, I think there are two games that I wasn’t very happy with, so it’s pretty good, ”said Brind’Amour, summing up the season so far. “It’s been a pretty good effort so far, top to bottom. Can we improve?

In a small sample on New Years Day, the Blue Jackets, for sure, agreed.

“It looks bad because we had the lead,” Larsen said. “But let’s face it. They were the best team.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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