Columbus Blue Jackets Struggle To Solve Curtis McElhinney; Drop Home Opener to Carolina Hurricanes

By Kyle Morrison on October 5, 2018 at 9:51 pm
Curtis McElhinney tracks Cam Atkinson as he skates with the puck for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

USA Today – Aaron Doster

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Curtis McElhinney was the backup goalie throughout his four-year tenure in Columbus – and has been in that role for his entire career in the NHL – but tonight he played like a superstar in net. 

The 35-year-old netminder seemingly ascended to godhood tonight in Nationwide Arena, stopping dangerous chances from every angle and only letting one of 32 Columbus shots into the net. 

  1 2 3 F
BLUE JACKETS 1 0 0 1
HURRICANES 1 1 1 3

The one shot that did go in came off the stick of Brandon Dubinsky, who cleanly won a face-off and went straight to the net, where he quickly batted a rebound home. That goal came on the heels of a strong game last night for Dubinsky, who looks determined to put last year's struggles in the rearview.

Dubinsky also appeared to chirp the Carolina bench after his goal, although it's clear that the Canes got the last word tonight.

Speaking of last year's struggles, the power play struggled all night long one night after going 1-for-6, going scoreless in three chances. That makes eight consecutive scoreless power plays for the Columbus Blue Jackets. 

Carolina, on the other hand, did their damage at even strength. They scored on the first shot of the game – a rocket off the stick of Jordan Martinook that whizzed past Sergei Bobrovsky's shoulder. Sebastian Aho and Micheal Ferland also beat Bobrovsky on the night for their first goals of the season.

Injury Update

The injury outlook remains the same as last night – Seth Jones and Scott Harrington are working their way back to health – although Zach Werenski did miss a couple of shifts after an awkward fall early in the game. He returned and played significant minutes, though. 

Next Up

The Blue Jackets get a nice three day weekend to review the tape from this one before a Tuesday matchup with the Colorado Avalanche. They'll get re-acquainted with former teammates Matt Calvert and Ian Cole, who joined Colorado this offseason. 

After that, they'll head south for a matchup with the Florida Panthers on Thursday.

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