NHL Game Summary - Carolina at Columbus
(Monday, March 8th)
Final Score: Carolina 4, Columbus 1
Columbus, OH (Sports Network) - Aaron Ward notched his first career two-goal game to lead Carolina to a 4-1 win over Columbus at Nationwide Arena.
Arturs Irbe made 27 saves to remain unbeaten in three starts this season (2-0-1) for the Hurricanes, who have won four straight on the road and improved to 2-2-1-1 in their last six games overall. Erik Cole and Craig Adams also scored in the winning effort.
"Anytime you can get a win, it's very nice," Carolina rookie Eric Staal said.
Rick Nash scored for the Blue Jackets, who suffered their third straight loss and eighth in their last 11. Fred Brathwaite stopped 34 of the 37 shots he faced.
Carolina scored twice less than a minute apart in the first period to go ahead 2-0. On the power play, Ward converted with a one-timer from the left faceoff circle with 6:57 left in the first.
Cole then beat Brathwaite with a slap shot from the right circle 58 seconds later. Rod Brind'Amour set up the goal with a cross-ice pass, helping Cole record his 100th career NHL point.
Columbus, which failed to convert on two power plays, held a 12-7 shot advantage during a scoreless second period.
Early in the third period, Ward converted on a slap shot from the right circle to make it 3-0. Josef Vasicek and Staal set up the goal at 2:13 of the third.
Nash denied Irbe his first shutout in nearly two years with 7:42 left in the period. Nash maneuvered around a Carolina defender and pushed the puck past the goaltender on the power play for his league-leading 37th goal of the season.
"Nobody goes to the front of the net," said interim Columbus head coach Gerard Gallant. "We aren't going to win if we don't go to the net."
Adams capped the scoring with a shorthanded, empty-net goal, his first tally in 54 games, with 15.6 seconds left for the Hurricanes.
Staal delivered the first two-assist game of his career for the Hurricanes...David Vyborny posted his 30th assist for Columbus, which earlier Monday activated defenseman Duvie Westcott from injured reserve and assigned defenseman Darrel Scoville to the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League...Irbe's last shutout came on March 30, 2002 at Boston, a 2-0 decision.
03/09 01:10:40 ET