Atkinson's hat trick lifts Blue Jackets to 4-1 win over Canes
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Cam Atkinson scored three goals and assisted on another as the Columbus Blue Jackets defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1 Saturday night for their fifth victory in six games.
Atkinson stretched his goal-scoring streak to four games and Artemi Panarin contributed three assists as the Blue Jackets (12-6-2) broke a six-game skid against Metropolitan Division rival Carolina (8-8-3).
Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 30 shots to earn the win.
Sebastian Aho scored his sixth goal of the season 6:05 into the second period for the Hurricanes, cutting their deficit to 2-1 with a wraparound that slid just inside the far post. Just 1:17 later, Atkinson backhanded a pass to Zach Werenski in the slot for a wrister that beat Scott Darling on the glove side.
Atkinson completed his fifth career hat trick 3:58 later on a power play with a shot from the top of the faceoff circle to the left of Darling, increasing Columbus' lead to 4-1. Atkinson has six of his team-high 12 goals in the last four games.
Panarin assisted on all three of Atkinson's goals and leads the Blue Jackets with 16 assists and 21 points. Pierre-Luc Dubois added two assists for Columbus, which played penalty-free hockey for the first 34 minutes.
Bobrovsky preserved the three-goal lead by stopping Jordan Martinook on a breakaway while Carolina was short-handed early in the third period. Later, Dougie Hamilton clanged a shot off the far post behind Bobrovsky.
The Hurricanes are 2-5-2 in their last nine games. Columbus' only loss in the past 13 days came in a shootout against the New York Rangers last Saturday.
NOTES: Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno was scratched because of a personal matter. ... Columbus has scored at least four goals in three of its last four games. ... Aho extended his point streak to four games. ... This was the third game of a six-game homestand for Carolina.
Blue Jackets: At Toronto on Monday night.
Hurricanes: Host New Jersey on Sunday.