Blue Jackets Defeat Hurricanes, Gain Ground in Wildcard Standings

By Jacob Nitzberg on January 16, 2020 at 9:38 pm
Jan 16, 2020; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets center Emil Bemstrom (52) celebrates after scoring a goal against the Carolina Hurricanes during the first period at Nationwide Arena.
Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports


The Blue Jackets defeated the Carolina Hurricanes tonight, 3-2, thanks to late-game heroics from Nick Foligno.

Elvis Merzlikins was outstanding all night, stopping 32 of 34 shots.

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Emil Bemstrom (5) got the scoring started with a wicked wrister early in the first period off of a nice feed from Cam Atkinson, who returned from a high ankle sprain and looked dynamic all night.

The Hurricanes dominated play for most of the period, but the Blue Jackets went into the dressing room with a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes.

The second period wasn't pretty, and the Hurricanes continued to be the aggressors. Just over eight and a half minutes into it, Martin Necas took advantage of a breakaway and made it 1-1, ending Elvis Merzlikins' shutout streak at 166 minutes and 29 seconds. After 40 minutes, the teams were knotted at 1-1.

Did we mention Atkinson looked dynamic all night? With just under five minutes gone by in the third period, Atkinson picked his spot and gave the Blue Jackets a 2-1 lead with a nice wrist shot.

Just over two minutes later, the Hurricanes came right back and tied it at 2-2 off of a deflection from Jordan Staal. As the wild third period continued, the Blue Jackets thought they had taken the lead via a Zack Werenski wrist shot, but the Hurricanes challenged for offsides and the goal was overturned.

Nick Foligno grabbed the winner with just over 90 seconds left. What a finish it was from the captain. 

Injury Update

Atkinson returned tonight after recovering from his high-ankle sprain that occurred on December 19th.

Next Up

The Blue Jackets will host the New Jersey Devils at Nationwide Arena on Saturday night. Puck drop is slated for 7:00 p.m.

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