COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP)Jack Roslovic scored the tiebreaking goal late in the third period, Joonas Korpisalo had 22 saves and the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 on Monday night to split a back-to-back series.
Scott Harrington and Cam Atkinson also scored for the Blue Jackets, who weren’t sharp for much of the night but still got their second win in three games.
With the score tied 2-2, Roslovic split two defenders and beat Alex Nedeljkovic with a backhand with 4:36 left for what was the prettiest goal in an evening that included some unusual ones.
”I just saw open ice,” said Roslovic, who has been a consistent contributor since coming over with Patrik Laine from Winnipeg in the Pierre-Luc Dubois trade last month. ”We were trying to move the puck north and try to make a play at the net.”
Nino Niederreiter and Brock McGinn scored, and Nedeljkovic had 19 stops in his first start of the season as the Hurricanes lost for just the third time in 10 games.
After going without an on-target try for a stretch of 16 minutes of the first period, the Blue Jackets got a goal late from Harrington, whose shot hit Carolina’s Andrei Svechnikov in front of the cage and tumbled up and over Nedeljkovic.
Carolina tied it in the second period with a fluky goal of its own. Korpisalo came out of the net and tried to sweep the puck away but it came back the other way off the handle of Niederreiter’s stick.
Atkinson put Columbus up 2-1when he deked Nedeljkovic on a penalty shot after being tripped up by Teuvo Teravainen on a short-handed breakaway. Carolina knotted it again when a diving McGinn batted in a rebound in heavy traffic.
”It was obviously a phenomenal goal (by Roslovic), and for Korpi to play on his head like he does every night for us, it feels good,” Harrington said. ”We’ve been kind of struggling lately to really find our groove, and tonight it felt good to have a couple things go our way.”
Columbus coach John Tortorella said it was an improvement over Sunday’s wild 6-5 loss, but he wasn’t celebrating.
”We were better in certain minutes of the game – still have a lot to work on,” he said. ”I still think we’re a terribly disjointed team in all facets.”
Laine, who had three goals in the previous two games, was benched by Tortorella in the second period. He was on the ice and standing by for McGinn’s diving goal with 6:19 left in the second and didn’t report for another shift the rest of the way. Tortorella said his reasons for sitting the 22-year-old are ”going to stay in-house.”
”I’m sure (Laine) and I will talk about certain things that we’re looking for here and try to make him understand,” Tortorella said.
GRINDING IT OUT
Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour, who because of injuries had just 11 forwards and six defensemen available, said the loss wasn’t due to lack of effort.
”We really worked hard tonight, being short-staffed and back-to-back. I thought we’d grinded it out,” he said. ”We probably deserved better.”
Both teams are having some hard luck with goaltender depth. Columbus’ Elvis Merzlikins, who had been splitting time with Korpisalo, got hurt in practice last week and landed on injured reserve. Then Matiss Kivlenieks, who took his slot on the roster, got hurt. Carolina’s No. 1 goalie, Petr Mrazek, had surgery on his right thumb last week and is out indefinitely, leaving James Reimer with the load. Nedeljikovic got the nod on the second night of the back-to-back.
Carolina: F Vincent Trocheck didn’t play due to a lower-body injury. … McGinn has goals in the last three games.
Columbus: Kevin Stenlund has three points in his last three games. … Stenlund and F Mikhail Grigorenko were back in the lineup after they were scratched Sunday. Mikko Koivu and Liam Foudy were healthy scratches Monday.
The Hurricanes play a two-game series at Dallas Thursday and Saturday.
The Blue Jackets play a pair of games in Chicago Thursday and Saturday.
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