When the week began,

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    COLUMBUS www.officialhockeyrangersshop.com , Ohio (AP) — Curtis McElhinney didn’t expect to be starting an NHL game Friday night, let alone emerging as the winning goalie in a game in Columbus, where he played as a backup for five seasons.The 35-year-old McElhinney was waived by Toronto on Monday and scooped up by Carolina on Tuesday as a backup after starter Scott Darling was injured over the weekend. He started in the second leg of a back-to-back on Friday night, stopping 31 shots as the Hurricanes beat the Blue Jackets 3-1.McElhinney was the primary backup to Sergei Bobrovsky in Columbus from 2013-17. Playing for the Maple Leafs last season, he lost to the Blue Jackets on three separate occasions.“It’s a nice way to get a win,” he said. “I think they got the best of me when I was playing against them on Toronto, so it’s nice to come out here and make a good first impression with the club.”Sebastian Aho and Micheal Ferland each had a goal and an assist, and Jordan Martinook also scored to help give Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour his first NHL win and ruin the home opener for the Blue Jackets.McElhinney grabbed the puck after the final horn and handed it over to the rookie coach.“He deserved it a lot more than I did New York Rangers T-Shirts Authentic ,” said Brind’Amour, a former Carolina player who’s been an assistant coach for the past seven seasons. “I stood back there and yelled, and he was making all the saves. It was great that we were able to get him and he contributes like that.”Columbus looked discombobulated at times against Carolina’s tough neutral-zone defense but made an aggressive push in the second period, only to have shot after shot turned away by McElhinney.Brandon Dubinsky scored and Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 32 shots for the Blue Jackets.“I think we were a little bit sloppy tonight, we just weren’t executing,” Columbus coach John Tortorella said. “But I’m also going to give Carolina a little bit of credit, how they checked.” Martinook got it started 1:43 into the game when he rifled a shot over Bobrovsky’s glove from the slot off a nice feed from 18-year-old Andrei Svechnikov, the No. 2 pick in the June draft who picked up his first NHL point with the assist. Dubinsky tied it later in the first when he tipped in a rebound off McElhinney’s skate. Aho chipped a shot up over Bobrovsky to give the Hurricanes a 2-1 lead 6 1/2 minutes into the second period. Later in the second, McElhinney made a critical save New York Rangers Hoodies Authentic , swallowing up a point-blank shot from Josh Anderson on a breakaway.Just after the Blue Jackets came up empty on their third power play of the night, Ferland found the back of the net with a one-timer from the slot 4 1/2 minutes into the third period. McElhinney shut down Columbus the rest of the way.“It’s one of those things,” McElhinney said. “I’m always grateful for an opportunity to play any time in this league. For Carolina to give me that right now, it feels tremendous.”NOTES: A quick whistle kept the Blue Jackets from tying the game in the second period. A referee whistled the play dead after a McElhinney stop, but the puck immediately popped out and Dubinsky put back the rebound. … The Blue Jackets are now 7-8-3 in home openers. … The Blue Jackets and Hurricanes are two of the youngest clubs in the NHL. The average age for both teams is 25. … Svechnikov got his first point after hitting the post twice in Carolina’s opening night overtime loss to the New York Islanders.UP NEXT:Carolina: Hosts the New York Rangers on Sunday.Columbus: Hosts Colorado on Tuesday night. SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Florida Panthers coach Bob Boughner is impressed with Aleksander Barkov.Boughner thinks the center has raised his play to a new level.Barkov reached 30 goals for the first time in his career, helping the Panthers rout the Detroit Red Wings 6-1 on Sunday.“The first few years you feel your way around the league,” Boughner said. “It’s a learning process on how to be a pro and how to be consistent.“Barky’s mastered that. Now he’s elite. He’s an elite hockey player.”The 23-year-old Barkov had at least 21 goals in each of the previous three seasons, but he had never got to 30 until he made it 6-1 7:44 into the third period. He also picked up his 47th assist when Jonathan Huberdeau scored the first of Florida’s three third-period goals.Barkov has 24 points in his last 13 games. It was the 400th NHL game for Florida’s captain New York Rangers Hats Authentic , who had a club-record five assists Friday against Minnesota.“That means I’m playing with really good players who can pass the puck. I just try to find the open spot and try to work with my shot too,” Barkov said.Josh Brown and Dryden Hunt each scored their first NHL goal as Florida earned its second straight win since a costly six-game slide. Jamie McGinn and Frank Vatrano also scored.Making his third NHL start, Sam Montembeault stopped 19 shots as the Panthers finished their season series against the Red Wings with a 3-0-1 record.The 22-year-old Montembeault had his best moment in the first period, denying Andreas Athanasiou on a breakaway at 10:25.“When he tried to make his move, he kind of juggled the puck a little bit, so I just tried to poke-check it, and he just tapped it on net and I made a pad save,” Montembeault said.Brown, Hunt and Montembeault all started the season at Springfield in the American Hockey League.“That’s what makes it so special Custom New York Rangers Jerseys ,” Hunt said. “We all kind of grinded it out in Springfield.”Thomas Vanek had a power-play goal for Detroit, which dropped to 1-7-3 in its past 11 games. Jimmy Howard had 37 saves.The Panthers scored twice in their first nine shots during an impressive first period.Troy Brouwer held the puck on a rush, skated in backward below the goal line and fired a slick pass back to Brown, trailing in the high slot. The defenseman then beat Howard on the glove side at 6:42.McGinn scored just 13 seconds into a power play when he shoved in a rebound of Aaron Ekblad’s blast from the left circle for his third goal at 9:22.Vatrano kept a puck alive in a board battle in the second period, and Mike Hoffman slid a pass around to Ekblad, who fired a shot that Vatrano deflected in for his 21st goal and first in 12 games.Vanek cut the deficit to 3-1 with his 14th goal at 12:24, converting a one-timer from the left circle off a pass from Frans Nielsen.“They just had Grade A chance after Grade A chance. Pretty fun night for them, pretty awful for us,” Vanek said.“We weren’t skating or mentally sharp and made them look like an All-Star team over there.”Opening the third period on the power play www.officialsenators.com , Florida went up 4-1 when Evgenii Dadonov threaded a pass on Huberdeau’s 22nd goal, and Hunt made it 5-1 when he scored off a clever pass from Riley Sheahan at 2:51.NOTES: Detroit C Dylan Larkin (back) missed his third straight game. The 22-year-old Larkin, who has a team-best 27 goals and 35 assists, will be re-evaluated on Monday and is expected to return this season. … Brown’s first NHL goal came in his 24th game, Hunt in his 33rd.UP NEXTRed Wings: At Montreal on Tuesday.Panthers: At San Jose on Thursday.

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