The Carolina Hurricanes had already lost starting goaltender Cam Ward. Then they lost yet another game.
Rick Nash scored Columbus’s third goal in a 2:41 span of the third period to beat Carolina, 3-2, last night, the Hurricanes’ franchise-record 12th consecutive game without a win.
Nikita Filatov and Jared Boll also scored goals for the Blue Jackets, who have picked up points in their last five games. Goalie Steve Mason, who had 24 saves, assisted on Boll’s go-ahead goal.
“They are a desperate hockey club [and] they played like it,’’ Mason said of the Hurricanes, intending “desperate’’ as a compliment. “The way we responded in the third period was nice to see.’’
Erik Cole and Tim Gleason had goals for Carolina, which lost goalie Cam Ward who was cut on the thigh by a skate during the first period and taken by ambulance to a hospital for evaluation.
Ward left at the 7:35 mark of the first period after he was apparently nicked by a skate. Nash swooped in from the right across the crease while being shadowed by a defenseman, although there appeared to be very little contact with Ward. Still, Ward went down on all fours for a minute before he was slowly helped off the ice by two trainers.
The Hurricanes, who lost their sixth in a row overall, have not won since a 7-2 victory over Florida Oct. 9. Since then, they have gone 0-9-3, eclipsing an 11-game winless streak in 2003. They are also winless in their last nine road games (0-7-2).
Carolina led 1-0 going into the third - only the second time it has led with one period left.
Maple Leafs 5, Red Wings 1 - Phil Kessel scored his first goal with Toronto and Jonas Gustavsson made 35 saves to lead the hosts over Detroit.
After a dreadful start to the season, things have started to turn around for the Maple Leafs. They’ve been playing much better hockey the past two weeks - buoyed in large part by Gustavsson taking over the No. 1 goaltending job - and have moved out of the NHL basement by winning two in a row and earning points in seven straight games (3-0-4).
Sharks 5, Penguins 0 - Joe Pavelski had a goal and an assist in his first game back from the injured list and Evgeni Nabokov made 26 saves and San Jose beat Pittsburgh for the seventh straight time at home.
Pittsburgh star Sidney Crosby was held pointless for a fourth straight game for the fourth time in his career.
Devils 3, Senators 2 - Zach Parise and David Clarkson each had a goal and an assist on the power play as New Jersey won its eighth straight road game with a comeback victory over Ottawa.
The Devils are 8-0 away from New Jersey, the second-longest road winning streak to open a season in NHL history. Buffalo started 10-0 in 2006-07.
Predators 3, Kings 1 - Dan Ellis (27 saves) took advantage of a rare start and Francis Bouillon, Cody Franson, and Joel Ward scored to lead Nashville in Los Angeles.
Capitals 7, Panthers 4 - Tomas Fleischmann scored twice during a five-goal third period as shorthanded Washington beat visiting Florida to sweep their home-and-home series.
Islanders 6, Thrashers 3 - Sean Bergenheim, Blake Comeau, and Jack Hillen each scored their first goals of the season to help New York beat visiting Atlanta.
Wild 3, Stars 2 - Cal Clutterbuck and Mikko Koivu scored first-period goals as Minnesota held off visiting Dallas.
Lightning 3, Canadiens 1 - Ryan Malone and Alex Tanguay each had a goal and an assist and Antero Niittymaki made 36 saves to lead visiting Tampa Bay over Montreal.
Flyers 2, Blues 1 - Mika Pyorala scored in the fourth round of the shootout to lead host Philadelphia to its fourth straight win by handing St. Louis its fourth straight loss.
Ducks 4, Coyotes 3 - Mike Brown’s goal off a faceoff in the third period gave host Anaheim the win.
Flames 3, Rangers 1 - Jarome Iginla scored the go-ahead goal and Miikka Kiprusoff made 32 saves as host Calgary won its third win in a row.