Canes "Staal" Columbus: Hurricanes 3, Blue Jackets 2

Eric Staal is fired up after scoring for Carolina in third period against Columbus - Kevin C. Cox

Eric Staal scores twice and Jordan nets the game-winner as Carolina tops Columbus

If you can say one thing about the Carolina Hurricanes, it's that they do not give up.  They have shown it time and again so far this season and they came from behind again on Monday night, this time after trailing 2-0 to the Columbus Blue Jackets, as they scored three times in the third period to defeat the visitors, 3-2 in front of 13,641 at the PNC Arena.

Eric Staal scored two times within a minute and his brother Jordan, scored the eventual game-winner to propel the Hurricanes to their fourth straight win and 10th in their last 13 games.

The oldest Staal has been red hot of late and now has five goals and nine assists for 14 points in his last nine games played.

Coach Kirk Muller said that the captain was trying to fire up his team on the bench early in the third period.  They felt like they owed the Jackets something after being shutout one game and blowing a two goal lead another time to them, earlier this season.

In fact, they had not beaten Columbus since the 2005 season.

This game was another one where the home team got off to a slow start.  Just 2:42 into the game, they found themselves down 2-0 and the Blue Jackets were buzzng in the Carolina end.  Anton Khudobin had to make save after save just to keep the game within reach.

But later in the period, Carolina picked up some momentum, even if they didn't score.  In the second period they outshot Columbus 17-9, but still could not solve Sergei Bobrovsky, who had shut this team out for five straight periods.

It seemed that whenever the Hurricanes did get a good chance, something happened to mess it up, but still they did not give up.

At 11:18 into the third, the oldest Staal picked up a loose puck after Alexander Semin was trying to get something going.  The defense collapsed on Semin, leaving Staal open, and he beat Bobrovsky with a quick shot to get the home team on the board.

Just a minute later, Jiri Tlusty won a battle along the boards and took the puck behind the net.  He passed it to Staal who was cutting in front and the captain scored again to tie the game as the crowd went wild.

Less then two minutes later, Jordan Staal took the puck down the middle and tried to fake out a defenseman while flipping the puck with his backhand.  Staal landed on his back but the puck bounced in and with a great effort and a little luck, the home team had the lead.

Khudobin needed to make a couple more tough saves later on to preserve the win.  The goalie made 22 saves on 24 shots for the game and extended his record to 11-3-0 while maintaining an excellent save percentage of .926.

The win moves the Hurricanes into sole possession of third place in the Metropolitan Division.  There is no rest though as they traveled immediately after the game to Montreal, where they will battle the Habs on Tuesday night.

Game Notes:

  • The Canes outshot Columbus 35-24.  Semin led the way with five and Jeff Skinner was next with four. 
  • The team was credited with 28 hits led by Jay Harrison with five.
  • Manny Malhotra had a game high 64% winning percentage in the faceoff circle.
  • Andrej Sekera played a team high 24:34 of ice time and also had a team high four blocked shots.





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