COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The Blue Jackets split their two-game series against Carolina after Columbus beat the Hurricanes 3-2 Monday night after a game-winning goal by Jack Roslovic late in the third period.
Korpisalo added 22 saves in the win.
But the Jackets’ win was overshadowed by head coach John Tortorella’s decision to bench Patrik Laine and Dean Kukan after both players were on the ice during Carolina’s two goals.
“It’s what I feel I need to do. The last thing I want to do is bench a player,” Tortorella said. “We’re just disjointed in all areas. Quite honestly on and off the ice . . . if I think I need to [bench a player], then I need to do it. I did it with Patty [Laine] and I felt I needed to do it with Kukes [Kukan].”
“If it looks like you’re not giving 100% and looking like you’re trying, he’s going to sit you. It’s no secret,” Cam Atkinson said. “I’ve been that guy plenty of times.
During his press conference Saturday, Tortorella said “enough is enough” talking about CBJ’s ‘porous’ defense, which allowed six goals to Carolina on Sunday.
“I’m sure Patty [Laine] and I will talk about certain things that I’m looking for here,” Tortorella said. “I know you think it’s a big thing. I think it’s part of a process of understanding our team concept of how we do things here.”
Scott Harington scored late in the first period on a lucky bounce after his shot hit off the back of a Carolina defender and skipped past the red line to give CBJ a 1-0 lead.
Carolina’s Nino Niederreiter evened the game after back-to-back turnovers by Dean Kukan with the second turnover resulting in a goal after Joonas Korpisalo tried to clear the puck, which hit off the shin pad of Niederreiter, off the back of Korpisalo, off the post, and his skate pushing the puck into the net.
Tortorella benched Kukan after the sequence and he was not put back in the game.
Cam Atkinson gave CBJ the lead once again on a short-handed goal that came on a penalty shot 10 minutes and 38 seconds into the second period.
The Hurricanes responded once again when Brock McGinn cleaned up a missed shot with a diving goal as Laine stood near him without attempting to impede the shot.
Roslovic scored the lone goal of the third period with a crafty move skating the puck off his skate to beat two defenders and then beat Carolina goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic one on one by walking the puck in front of him and threading it between his legs.
Roslovic, from Columbus, became just the third Ohio-born player to score against an Ohio-born goaltender. The Columbus native now has a five-game point streak.
“I think he’s really delivered for us offensively,” Tortorella said about Roslovic. “That’s a huge play by Jack late in the third period.”
The Blue Jackets return to action Thursday when they play at Chicago.