Nedeljkovic, Hurricanes shut out Blue Jackets 3-0
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Martin Necas scored in his 100th NHL game, Alex Nedeljkovic earned his second career shutout and the Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-0 on Monday night to snap a three-game losing streak.
Brady Skjei added his first goal of the season and Jesper Fast also scored to help the Hurricanes improve to 1-0-2 in a four-game series between the teams.
“I felt really good about our games,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “I thought for two periods, especially, we just kind of controlled the game that we had to win.”
Nedeljkovic, an Ohio native, stopped 19 shots for his second shutout this season and beat Columbus for the third time. Carolina lost twice to the Blue Jackets in overtime at home last weekend.
“The first two games I think we played pretty good hockey, but tonight we played a complete 60-minute hockey game,” Fast said. “We were on the right side. We were working hard and doing the right thing, so a really good game.”
The Hurricanes, who won eight in a row before their recent three-game slide, have earned at least one point in 11 of their last 12 games.
Skjei got the Hurricanes on the board at 9:13 of the first period, burying the rebound of Sebastian Aho’s shot from the blue line.
Fast made it 2-0 at 6:39 of the second with a stick-side tip-in off Brett Pesce’s shot. Necas scored at 8:02 of the period.
“They checked tonight and we couldn’t get through it,” Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said. “It’s a big part of what they do, and tonight we had trouble getting through it.”
Joonas Korpisalo made 25 saves but lost for the fourth time in his last five starts.
Dougie Hamilton assisted on Necas’ goal to extend his point streak to 12 games, the longest by a defenseman in franchise history, topping the record he shared previously with Mark Howe. Hamilton’s point streak is the longest by a defenseman this season. He leads the Hurricanes in assists with 22.
All of Necas’ 100 games have come with the Hurricanes. The Czech native was Carolina’s first pick in the 2017 NHL draft, 12th overall.
ON THE MOVE
Blue Jackets center Alexandre Texier went straight from the COVID-19 protocol list to the club’s taxi squad, while the team recalled left wing Mikhail Grigorenko. Texier, a native of France, had four goals and five assists in 30 games this season. His last goal came on Jan. 26, a drought of 22 games, and he last played March 13. Grigorenko has two goals and five assists, but has not played since Feb. 23.
The teams wrap up their four-game series Thursday.
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