Follow me on Twitter: @BenShelley_20
Follow HockeyBuzz Hurricanes on Twitter: @HB_Canes
The Carolina Hurricanes dropped their second game in a row tonight, losing 6-0 to the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Jaccob Slavin out for the Hurricanes in COVID protocol, while Jack Lafontaine was backing up Frederik Andersen, with Antti Raanta injured.
The Blue Jackets opened the scoring about nine minutes into the first frame, as Frederik Andersen made a flurry of saves, but Emil Bemstrom was able to make a move to his backhand to get Columbus on the board. While the Hurricanes got an excellent chance on a rush that resulted in a huge save by Elvis Merzlikins, the Hurricanes were consistently letting the Blue Jackets have way too much time in front of their net, resulting in some good chances. It remained 1-0 after 20 minutes with Columbus registering 19 shots, but Carolina did build some momentum near the end of the frame.
The Blue Jackets extended their lead in the second period, as Yegor Chinakhov got a breakaway pass from Vladislav Gavrikov and he beat Andersen with a great shot. The Hurricanes got some great opportunities off the rush in an attempt to get on the board, but Merzlikins continued to be very good and the Blue Jackets took a 2-0 lead into the final frame.
However, things went very, very south for the Hurricanes in the third period. First, Patrik Laine drilled a one-timer past Andersen to extend Columbus’ lead. Then under a minute later, Yegor Chinakhov got in alone and made a great move to drag a puck around Andersen for his second goal of the game.
That marked the end of Andersen’s night, as Jack LaFontaine made his NHL debut. The Blue Jackets weren’t done there though, as Cole Sillinger got in alone on a breakaway and beat LaFontaine just 30 seconds later. With three goals in 67 seconds, Columbus was up 5-0. Jack Roslovic would add yet another breakaway goal later in the period, securing a 6-0 Blue Jackets’ win.
The story here was obviously Carolina’s defensive collapse in the third period, as they continued to allow breakaways and a ton of great odd-man rush chances. That said, it’s not like it was just the third period where the Hurricanes fell apart, as they were allowing the Blue Jackets too much time and space earlier in the game too, it just wasn’t to the same extent. Jaccob Slavin’s absence was certainly apparent.
Obviously, it’s also a poor situation for Jack LaFontaine to come into for his first NHL action. Two goals on two breakaways says more about the team than him.
It is worth noting that Carolina did manage to generate some great chances, with Elvis Merzlikins making some excellent saves throughout the game. It's pretty shocking they didn't manage to get one by him, considering the quality of some of their opportunities.
So this is one for the Hurricanes to shake off, losing out on an opportunity to get points from a team quite a ways below them in the standings while at home. Their next game will come on Saturday against the Vancouver Canucks.
***NOTE: We've launched a HockeyBuzz Hurricanes Twitter account! For anyone interested, you can follow @HB_Canes
for updates on articles, Hurricanes news, etc.***
OTHER ARTICLES FROM JANUARY
Hurricanes storm back from four-goal deficit to beat Blue Jackets
Seth Jarvis exceeding expectations with Hurricanes
Hurricanes extend winning streak, beat Flames 6-3
Hurricanes' winning streak snapped in overtime loss to Panthers
Hurricanes sign goaltender Jack LaFontaine
Hurricanes/Flyers game postponed, Brind’Amour to coach in All-Star Game