The Carolina Hurricanes returned to PNC Arena and spotted the visiting Blue Jackets two goals in the first six minutes. But Carolina’s offense ignited and burned bright the rest of the way. Jordan Staal and Brock McGinn each scored twice, while Sebastian Aho, Teuvo Teravainen and Nino Niederreiter all had goals as the Hurricanes chased Joonas Korpisalo in a 7-3 win Monday.
1. The Hurricanes seemingly had that “returning from a long road trip” malaise in their first game at PNC Arena since Jan. 31. Cam Atkinson scored just 26 seconds into the game, then Boone Jenner pushed the lead to 2-0 at 5:55 of the first period.
“The confidence they have in their abilities to get going, I don’t think we’re ever out of a game,” coach Rod Brind’Amour said of his team’s resilience. “And we’ve kind of proven that so far this year in this short sample size. But I do feel that there’s a lot of confidence (within) this group.”
That shined through the rest of the way. Carolina scored seven of the game’s next eight goals — plus the Hurricanes had one taken off the board — and looked dominant through all four lines. Brind’Amour raised eyebrows by breaking up the trio of Aho, Teravainen and Andrei Svechnikov, but the decision has paid off.
McGinn — who matched a career-high with four points — has proven he can finish off plays on the wing with the two Finns, while Svechnikov has been a driving force in making Staal an offensive force without him losing any of his defensive dominance.
It has also helped that Vincent Trocheck and Niederreiter are having bounce-back seasons while playing with a potential emerging star, Martin Necas.
2. And then there’s the fourth line and its new addition. Cedric Paquette made his Hurricanes debut Monday and didn’t waste much time reintroducing himself to the Blue Jackets — the opponent his former team, the Lightning, played in each of the last two postseasons. In the middle frame, Paquette leveled Columbus defenseman Seth Jones in the neutral zone, and he then closed out the period in a shoving match with Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno.
The newest Hurricane finished with five hits in 11:33 of ice time and took 16 faceoffs, winning six. He played 30 seconds on the penalty kill, as well.
“I appreciated the effort he gave,” Brind’Amour said of Paquette, who drove from Canada with his dog to arrive in Raleigh with enough time to play Monday. “I think he’ll get better and better, too, once he learns how we play in the systems and all that. It’s tough to just walk in and play a game on a new team, so I thought he contributed.”
Paquette’s arrival moves Jordan Martinook to the wing where he’s most effective and, with Jesper Fast on the other wing, makes for a hard-to-handle fourth line.
3. Defenseman Jake Bean was in the lineup Monday — just the fourth time this season he’s played — and responded with a two-assist night for his first points in the NHL.
“I have pretty high expectations of myself,” said Bean, the 12th overall pick in the 2016 draft. “I want to be one of the best defensemen in this league for a long time. So this is a good step, but I got a long way to go.”
Paired with Brady Skjei most of the night, Bean was the catalyst for both goals he assisted on, setting up a cycle that led to Staal’s goal at the end of the first period and then finding a shooting lane on McGinn’s redirection midway through the third.
It wasn’t a perfect performance — one turnover led to a Blue Jackets breakaway that Reimer (37 saves) stopped — but Bean showed he belonged. That’s important since Carolina decided to keep him on the taxi squad, against his wishes, rather than send him to the AHL.
“We had discussions when I didn’t play for a while about maybe going down to the American League if we could make that work,” Bean said, “but … it wasn’t worth it to play just one or two games. So I’m fortunate that I was here. I’m fortunate that it worked out here.”
You can bet the incoming Seattle Kraken were watching Bean very closely from afar.
Number To Know
6 — Unanswered goals for the Hurricanes, who scored with 88 seconds left in the first period to cut Columbus’ lead to 3-2 and then had the next five to overtake the Blue Jackets and pull away.
They Said It
“We got down two and no one even had one thought that we’re gonna lose. It gives you a lot of confidence. We knew that if we just played our game that we’d come back, we can make up the goals. … No doubts the whole time.”
— Jake Bean on the reaction on the Carolina bench to going down 2-0 in the first six minutes.
Teuvo Teravainen, Hurricanes forward — The Hurricanes have been able to keep winning thanks to the offensive production of depth scorers like Staal and McGinn, and it has masked Teravainen’s absence from the score sheet night after night.
Well, Teravainen looks like he’s back, registering four points with a goal and three assists Monday — and that doesn’t include his goal that was wiped away by a video review in the first period.
“I think today was a little bit better,” Teravainen said. “It’s been kind of tough with COVID and I just haven’t felt normal after, I feel like. It’s kind of tough, but hopefully it will get better now.”
If Teravainen is back to being his usual point-per-game self, that’s huge for the Hurricanes. If he can be that while Staal and McGinn keep producing, it’s hard to see where the weakness is on this team.
James Reimer, Hurricanes goalie — It’s not Reimer’s fault he was blitzed by Columbus in the first six minutes, but it’s also not Reimer that scored seven goals to get Carolina a win. Reimer has now also allowed three or more goals in six straight starts. The good news? He’s lost only one of those and is 7-1-0 on the season, but a goals-against average over 3.00 and save percentage under .900 is not a recipe for long-term success.