RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) Andrei Svechnikov scored his first goal of the season with 1:55 left for the Carolina Hurricanes' third goal in an 8:04 span in a 3-2 comeback victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday.
After Columbus scored twice early in the third, Jesperi Kotkaniemi cut it to 2-1 at 9:59 and Brady Skjei tied it with 3:09 to go. Svechnikov also had an assist.
Svechnikov missed the first eight games of the season while rehabbing from major knee injury. The 23-year-old All-Star then failed to score in his first 11 games.
“It was kind of a relief but I knew it was coming,” Svechnikov said. “It was the right time and the right moment in a huge win for us.”
Pyotr Kochetkov stopped 21 shots. He made his third start in four games with Frederik Andersen out with blood-clotting issues. Antti Raanta was in goal for Carolina on Friday in an 8-2 home loss to Tampa Bay.
Johnny Gaudreau had a goal and assist for Columbus. Kirill Marchenko also scored and Elvis Merzlikins made 40 saves.
Svechnikov finished off a feed from Sebastian Aho in the slot past Elvis Merzlikins. The goal came after Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour changed up the line combinations and paired Svechnikov with Aho. Brind’Amour is hoping the comeback will spark Svechnikov.
“We’ve all been asked about it and we’ve all been feeling it for him because you just love the guy,” Brind’Amour said. “He’s a big part of our group and we need him to be doing that.”
Svechnikov had 23 goals in 64 games last season before he had surgery to repair his right anterior cruciate ligament in March.
“He’s huge on this team, everyone knows that,” Skjei said. “He’s a force in this league.”
Marchenko scored 13 seconds into the third, and Gaudreau made it 2-0 at 6:41.
Blue Jackets: Host Boston on Monday night.
Hurricanes: At Philadelphia on Tuesday night.
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