Three Things: Blue Jackets Shock The World, Elvis Is Back, The Kids Light Up The 'Canes

By Will Chase on January 13, 2022 at 9:34 pm
Columbus Blue Jackets' Elvis Merzlikins against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena.
James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports


The Columbus Blue Jackets embarked on a three-game road trip starting with Thursday's latest test at the Carolina Hurricanes. Already having won the first two games of the season series at Nationwide Arena by a cumulative score of 12-5, the Hurricanes were going for three in a row at PNC Arena.

What a bloodbath this one would be.

Elvis Merzlikins made his first start since Dec. 30 stopping all 31 shots as the Blue Jackets showed up—and showed out—on national television with a 6-0 win over the Hurricanes, snapping their six-game point streak. Frederik Andersen started the game for Carolina before being pulled in the third period. He made 28 saves on 32 shots.

Band Back Together

With Alexandre Texier's addition into the lineup and off the COVID list, that meant for a brief moment that there were no Blue Jackets in COVID protocol. Then we learned Jake Voracek was added to the protocol. 

Still, the team is as healthy as they've been in quite some time.

Texier had a breakaway chance in the first period and he tried to use his patented shootout move for the goal but Andersen wasn't having it. He did have one assist and two shots in 13:34.

Elvis Merzlikins’ Triumph

Merzlikins made two key stops in the first period on one play and you wouldn't have guessed he missed time with a lower-body ailment. He and the Blue Jackets played a spirited first period, and both got better as the game went on.

Into The Eye

This nationally televised game was a high-energy 60-minute display. As good as the Hurricanes are, the Blue Jackets were able to keep right there with them from the start. And then blow them out.

Merzlikins stole the show with stop after stop. The Blue Jackets had five goals from players 23 years of age and under, and a sixth to cap it off by 24-year-old Jack Roslovic (sixth goal of the season) sealed this victory. Patrik Laine picked up his fifth goal of the season on a rocket slapshot.

Both teams were 0-for-1 on the power play. The Hurricanes have killed off 30 consecutive penalties as they close in on a franchise-record 36 straight kills.

In the third period, the Blue Jackets poured it on with three goals in 67 seconds (second-fastest three-goal span), and four for the period.

Anderson was pulled after the fourth goal—and Chinakhov's second of the game—as Jack LaFontaine made his NHL debut in relief (part of an NHL record). Cole Sillinger greeted the 24-year-old to the NHL 30 seconds later with his sixth goal of the season.

  • The Blue Jackets had points from 12 different players.
  • It’s the first time this season the Hurricanes have been shut out or allowed six goals in a game. 
  • Sean Kuraly led the team with four shots on goal. Brendan Smith led the game with five shots.
  • Vladislav Gavrikov was +4.

Panthers Den

The Blue Jackets are off to Sunrise to battle the Florida Panthers on Saturday at 6:00 pm EST from FLA Live Arena. The Panthers host the Dallas Stars on Friday.

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