Frederik Andersen returned after a two-month absence due to a lower-body injury and made 21 saves to lead the visiting Carolina Hurricanes past the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-2 on Thursday night.
Andersen had missed the last 29 games dating back to Nov. 6 before being activated Thursday by the Hurricanes, who snapped a four-game losing streak with the win. Before the losing streak, the Hurricanes had won 11 straight.
Carolina had a productive night from its blue line corps as four different defensemen scored, accounting for the first five goals in total on the night.
The win was the 200th for head coach Rod Brind’Amour behind the Carolina bench.
Brett Pesce scored twice for Carolina, including a controversial goal eight minutes into the third period when Columbus goalie Joonas Korpisalo lost his mask moments before Pesce collected his own rebound.
Korpisalo played his first game since the birth of his first child — a son — on Tuesday. Korpisalo stopped 35 of 41 shots on the night.
The Blue Jackets, looking for a spark, reunited Patrik Laine with Columbus star Johnny Gaudreau on the top line.
Down 5-1 in the third, Laine earned an assist when Gaudreau scored with 4:33 left in the third for his team-leading 12th goal of the season.
Columbus lost for the fifth time in six games and lost defenseman Nick Blankenburg when he took a puck above the right ankle while blocking a shot with three minutes left in the game.
Pesce got the scoring underway for Carolina just two minutes, 34 seconds into the game when he ripped a wrist shot from the right wing boards over Korpisalo’s right shoulder, off the right post, and into the net.
Brent Burns scored his sixth of the year for Carolina eight-plus minutes later to put the visitors up, 2-0.
Sean Kuraly beat Andersen for his eighth goal of the season with five minutes left in the first to cut Carolina’s lead to 2-1.
The Blue Jackets fell to 4-21-1 this season when giving up the first goal.
–Field Level Media