Foligno Scores Late to Push Blue Jackets Past Hurricanes 3-2

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Nick Foligno scored the tiebreaking goal with 1:41 left in the game, Elvis Merzlikins had 32 saves and the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 on Thursday night.

Foligno grabbed the loose puck in the slot and fired it past Petr Mrazek’s glove for his first goal in 23 games.

Emil Bemstrom and Cam Atkinson also scored for Columbus, which won its third straight despite failing to generate many offensive chances. They are 5-0-1 in the last six.

Martin Necas and Jordan Staal scored, and Mrazek had 15 saves for the Hurricanes, who lost their second straight.

The rookie Bemstrom — who was headhunted by Boston after he knocked goalie Tuukka Rask out of Tuesday’s game — scored on Carolina 1:07 into the first period with a high wrist shot off the rush. That was one of just four shots the Blue Jackets managed in the first period.

Columbus Blue Jackets Emil Bemstrom Vegas Golden Knights Nicolas Roy
Columbus Blue Jackets forward Emil Bemstrom controls the puck in front of Vegas Golden Knights forward Nicolas Roy. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon)

Necas tied the score with his 11th goal of the season on a breakaway 8:38 into the second period, ending Merzlikins’ shutout streak at 166:29. The Columbus goalie had recorded shutouts in the Blue Jackets’ last two games.

Atkinson, in his first appearance since missing 12 games with an ankle sprain, collected the puck just inside the right circle and snapped it past Mrazek 4:51 into the third period. The Hurricanes tied the score again when Staal shielded Merlikins in front of the net and then deflected a Teuvo Teravainen for a score.

An apparent go-ahead goal by Zach Werenski was waved off because the Blue Jackets were offside.


Columbus scratched Sonny Milano to make room for Atkinson. … Carolina star D Dougie Hamilton had to be helped off the ice after getting tangled up with Columbus’ Kevin Stenlund and falling awkwardly on his right leg near the end of the second period. … Bemstrom has two goals and an assist in the last three games. … Hurricanes D Jaccob Slavin played in his 350th consecutive game, passing Eric Staal for the second-longest streak in the organization’s history.


Hurricanes: Host Anaheim on Friday.

Blue Jackets: Host New Jersey on Saturday.


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Mitch Stacy, The Associated Press