Necas helps Hurricanes beat Blue Jackets in opener
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Martin Necas had a goal and two assists and the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-1 in the season opener for both teams Wednesday night.
Seth Jarvis, Brady Skjei and Andrei Svechnikov also scored for the Hurricanes, who’ve won four consecutive opening games.
Patrick Laine had the Columbus goal, giving the Blue Jackets a brief second-period lead.
Frederik Andersen made 31 saves for the Hurricanes.
Columbus turned to Daniil Tarasov as the surprise opening-night starter because top netminder Elvis Merzilikins was ill. Tarasov, who appeared in his fifth NHL game, made 39 saves.
The Hurricanes would like to churn out another stellar opening stretch. They won their first nine games last season.
Necas began his points-producing spree by assisting on Skjei’s go-ahead goal with 1:30 to play in the second period. The Hurricanes were in transition, but Skjei spotted up inside the blueline and Necas delivered a pass back to him to set up the shot.
Necas then scored 6:29 into the third period off a rebound. Less than three minutes later, he recorded the primary assist on Svechnikov’s goal.
Laine scored the first goal 11 seconds into the second period following a Carolina turnover. He has 10 goals in 20 career games against Carolina.
WELCOME THEM ALL
A few players made debuts with their respective teams.
Six-time All-Star Johnny Gaudreau was in the Columbus lineup, while defenseman Brent Burns played in his 680th consecutive game – but first for Carolina – to move into sole possession for the 10th longest streak in NHL history.
Paul Stastny, another veteran in his first game for the Hurricanes, assisted on the team’s fourth goal. He’s beginning his 17th NHL season.
Blue Jackets: Friday night vs. visiting Tampa Bay.
Hurricanes: Friday night at San Jose to begin a five-game road trip.