Hamilton’s OT goal lifts Hurricanes past Blue Jackets
By BOB SUTTON
RALEIGH (AP) — Dougie Hamilton scored on a breakaway with 52.1 seconds remaining in overtime to lift the Carolina Hurricanes to a 2-1 victory against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night.
Goalie Alex Nedeljkovic picked up the assist on the winning play as the Central Division-leading Hurricanes extended their points streak to 10 games.
Teuvo Teravainen scored earlier for the Hurricanes. Hamilton, a defenseman, also had a game-winning goal Feb. 7 at Columbus.
Nedeljkovic, who has played in five of Carolina’s last seven games, made 31 saves to improve his record to 14-4-3.
Max Domi scored three minutes into the game for the last-place Blue Jackets.
Elvis Merzlikins stopped 32 shots, but he wasn’t able to replicate his 41-save outing in a shutout in Columbus’ previous game.
Teravainen tied the game with a laser-like shot with 1:16 remaining in the opening period.
Four of the last five meetings between the teams weren’t decided in regulation.
NO GIFTS, PLEASE
Hurricanes defenseman Jaccob Slavin and left winger Max McCormick both had birthdays Saturday. So they were in NHL regular-season games on their birthday for the first time, though Slavin played in a 2019 playoff game on his birthday.
Slavin made a diving block of Emil Bemstrom’s shot shortly after the midway mark of the first period, preventing the Blue Jackets from taking a two-goal lead.
It marked the first time in more than 18 years that two Hurricanes played on their birthdays in the same NHL game. That came when Aaron Ward and Jeff Heerema did so Jan. 17, 2003, in a loss to the New Jersey Devils.
ROAD ENDS HERE
This marked the final road game of the season for the Blue Jackets, who have four home games remaining.
Columbus is 8-1-1 in its last 10 road finales.
But it has largely been difficult away from home this season. The Blue Jackets dropped 10 straight road games, going 0-8-2 in those.
For the season, Columbus ended up 7-17-4 in road games. Two of the wins came in Raleigh, one in overtime and the other in a shootout.
Blue Jackets: Columbus returns home for games Monday and Wednesday vs. Nashville.
Hurricanes: Carolina takes on Chicago for the first of three straight meetings in Raleigh.