RECAP: Carolina Hurricanes top Columbus Blue Jackets in OT

By Field Level Media
Mar 25, 2021; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Carolina Hurricanes goalie Alex Nedeljkovic (39) makes a save through he screen of Columbus Blue Jackets center Boone Jenner (38) during the first period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina’s Martin Necas scored a goal and assisted on Sebastian Aho’s game-winner at 1:26 of overtime in the Hurricanes’ 4-3 win over the host Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night.

Necas broke in on a one-on-one battle with Columbus defender Zach Werenski, then sent a pass back to Aho, who scored his 14th goal to improve the Hurricanes to 4-1-2 against Columbus.

Cedric Paquette and Nino Niederreiter also scored for Carolina, and defenseman Dougie Hamilton provided an assist to stretch his point streak to 13 – the longest by a blueliner in franchise history and longest by a defenseman this year.

His helper also matched Toronto’s Auston Matthews for the longest point streak this season.

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After posting his second career shutout – a 19-save effort on Monday – Alex Nedeljkovic (8-2-2) made consecutive starts for the first time in his NHL career and stopped 33 of 36 shots.

The rookie netminder has won six of his past seven starts (6-0-1) and beat Columbus for the second time in four days.

Cam Atkinson produced a goal and an assist, and Werenski and Oliver Bjorkstrand also scored. Seth Jones dished out three assists for the Blue Jackets, who played their eighth one-goal game against Carolina in their last 10 meetings.

Joonas Korpisalo (8-11-5) started for the fourth time in five games and allowed four goals on 33 shots.

After a scoreless first period, Columbus was finally rewarded for its relentless pressure with the first goal on a three-on-one break at 7:03 in the second period.

Werenski led the odd-man rush, and his centering pass was deflected behind the net. He then banked in his fourth goal off the Carolina netminder for a 1-0 edge.

Yet, the advantage was short-lived as Paquette finished off a dump-and-chase possession by snaring a puck in the slot and whipping in his third marker to knot the game at 1 just 46 seconds later.

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A burst of speed by Necas allowed him to grab a loose puck in the offensive end, swoop around behind Korpisalo’s cage and slam dunk his seventh goal for the Hurricanes’ first lead at 17:16.

On Columbus’ third power play, Atkinson’s shot struck Hamilton and bounced in for his 12th goal and a 2-2 tie at 3:20.

After Niederreiter’s goal at 15:42 of the third period, Columbus pulled Korpisalo for the extra skater, and Bjorkstrand tied it at 3 with 15.1 seconds left to force overtime.

–Field Level Media