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Cam Atkinson scores twice, Blue Jackets beat Hurricanes 4-3 in exhibition opener

RALEIGH, N.C. – Cam Atkinson scored twice and Anton Forsberg made 29 saves to help a Columbus Blue Jackets split squad beat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3 on Sunday in the exhibition opener for both teams.

Nick Foligno and Mike Hoeffel added goals for Columbus. Chris Terry, Riley Nash and Andrej Sekera scored for Carolina. The Hurricanes have lost six straight exhibition openers.

Carolina held centre Eric Staal out of the lineup. Staal, who had off-season surgery to repair a core muscle injury, participated in the first days of preseason camp.

Atkinson tied it at 1 on a breakaway with 5:19 left in the first period, and Foligno gave the Blue Jackets the lead off a rebound in front of goalie Cam Ward with 2:15 to go in the period.

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Hoeffel made it 3-1 at 3:37 of the second, beating Ward with a wrist shot from the slot. Nash brought Carolina within a goal 25 seconds later when he beat Forsberg on a rebound from the left post.

Ward left the game with 9:13 remaining in the second period after making 10 saves. Rookie Alex Nedeljkovic allowed Atkinson’s goal at 12:10 on the first shot he faced.

Terry added Carolina’s second power-play goal with 7:52 left in the third.

Carolina opened the scoring on Sekera’s power-play goal at 7:33 of the first.