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Vincent Trocheck scores twice and Frederik Andersen wins again as the Canes roll on

Chip Alexander, The News & Observer on

Published in Hockey

Svechnikov batted the puck in but had his stick well above the cross-bar — good try, no goal. He also was initially credited with the Canes’ second goal until a scoring change.

The Canes needed seven seconds on the first power play of the game to take a 1-0 lead. Aho won the faceoff, Svechnikov got off a shot and Trocheck, in front of the crease, had the puck glance off him and past Korpisalo for his first of the season.

The Staal line clicked for the second goal. First, Nino Niederreiter knocked the puck away from defenseman Jake Bean behind the Columbus net. Staal then found Fast in front for his third goal of the season.

The Canes traveled to Columbus after what proved to be an emotional — and for forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi relieving — game against the Montreal Canadiens. Kotkaniemi, returning to the Bell Centre for the first time, heard a lot of boos from Habs fans and answered by scoring a goal in a 4-1 win.

Kotkanimei came to the Canes after the Habs failed to match an offer sheet. The Canes wanted badly to get him a victory Thursday, and did.

Blue Jackets a challenge

But Saturday’s game offered a different challenge: the Blue Jackets, who have a different look under first-year coach Brad Larsen and a somewhat different cast. It also was another Metropolitan Division game for the Canes, who beat the New York Islanders in the season opener.

 

“You always know when you play Columbus what you’re getting into,” Brind’Amour said to the media before the game. “They’re going to bring it.”

The Blue Jackets won just 18 games finished last in the Central Division in the 56-game 2021 season as the Canes took the division title with twice as many wins. But Columbus started the 2021-22 season by winning three of the first four, topping the Islanders 3-2 on Thursday.

Despite the Canes’ 3-0 start, Brind’Amour said there were some wrinkles to be ironed out and mistakes to be corrected.

“What I’m looking for is a little more consistency throughout our game,” he said. “And really we’re giving up too much, to me. I don’t like all the chances we’re giving up right now. That’s not really the way I want it to look.

“I still think we’re a ways away from really meshing as a group and making it look the way it should look and feel the way it should feel.”

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