Greg McKegg had a goal and an assist in his Carolina debut and the Hurricanes defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-2 Friday night.
McKegg was recalled from Charlotte of the American Hockey League on an emergency basis earlier Friday after Carolina placed Jordan Staal on injured reserve. Playing in his first NHL game since November 2017, the journeyman center assisted on a goal in the first period and scored the decisive goal in the second to lift the Hurricanes to their third straight win.
It was the first multi-point game of McKegg’s six-year career.
Micheal Ferland, Dougie Hamilton and Sebastian Aho added goals for Carolina. Curtis McElhinney stopped 22 shots in his second straight win after four consecutive losses.
Oliver Bjorkstrand and Artemi Panarin scored 25 seconds apart in the second period for the Blue Jackets. Sergei Bobrovsky surrendered three goals on 16 shots before being pulled midway through second period.
McKegg, playing for his fifth team in six seasons, helped propel Carolina to an early 3-0 lead.
Ferland’s one-timer from the left faceoff circle put Carolina up 5:16 into the first period. Less than 90 seconds later, Hamilton made it 2-0 when his wrist shot from the left point deflected off Bobrovsky’s glove and trickled into the net.
After setting up Hamilton’s goal with a drop pass, McKegg found the net in the second period.
Brett Pesce fired a pass for McKegg breaking down the middle toward the goal, and McKegg redirected the puck into the net — again off Bobrovsky’s glove — to make it 3-0.
Joonas Korpisalo replaced Bobrovsky shortly after.
Bjorkstrand and Panarin’s quick goals late in the period pulled the Blue Jackets within one heading into the third, but McElhinney stopped all seven shots he faced in the final period and Aho scored an empty-netter with two seconds remaining to secure the Carolina victory.
NOTES: Columbus captain Nick Foligno missed his second straight game to tend to his newborn daughter, Milana, who had heart surgery last week. He remains on indefinite leave. … Carolina F Saku Maenalanen recorded his first NHL point with an assist on Hamilton’s goal. … McElhinney appeared in 85 games for Columbus from 2013-17.
Blue Jackets: At Florida on Saturday.
Hurricanes: At Ottawa on Sunday.
Source: The Associated Press