The Carolina Hurricanes preseason late-game woes continued Friday, as they surrendered two one-goal leads and fell to Columbus, 3-2, at the RBC Center. Martin St. Pierre scored the game winner for the Blue Jackets, collecting a Cam Ward rebound to give Columbus the win.
All three of Columbus' goals seemed to be of the "avoidable" variety — St. Pierre's goal and Alexandere Giroux's first-period marker were deposited after Ward made a good save, only to see a Blue Jackets player scoop up the rebound unscatched and fire the puck into an empty net. The other goal, which tied the game at 2 in third, occurred when Ward misplayed the puck to the side of the net and lost it in in the restricted zone. Cam Atkinson collected the puck and fed R.J. Umberger a pass in the slot. Umberger one-timed past it past Ward to tie the game.
Patrick Dwyer and Jussi Jokinen scored for the Hurricanes. Jokinen opened the scoring with a power play goal just as a Carolina 5-on-3 expired, making it the first power play goal of the preseason for the Canes. Tomas Kaberle fed Joni Pitkanen, who zipped a pass to Jokinen for his first preseason goal.
The other goal came at 2:28 of the third, as Dwyer benefited from Anthony Stewart's work in front of Columbus goaltender Steve Mason. Stewart controlled the puck in front of Mason, then tapped it to Dwyer, who whacked twice to give the Canes a 2-1 lead.
- The Blue Jackets played without team captain Rick Nash, who stayed back in Columbus.
- The Canes outshot the Jackets, 37- 32. The home team was consistent every period with their shots, getting 12 in the first period, 12 in the second, and 13 in the third.
- The ending might have been different, but Joni Pitkaken hit the post on a nice attempt in the third, followed by another Cane who also hit the post with his shot.
- Jeff Skinner dropped the gloves and got into his first NHL fight when he took on Kris Russell, who also got two minutes for interference, along with his five minute major. "That's his one for the year for me," said head coach Paul Maurice when asked about the fight.
- Bryan Allen and Jared Boll exchanged some heavy punches in the second period. It seemed like Boll might have been injured because afterward, he went straight to the locker room and not to the penalty box. Sure enough, after the game it was announced that he broke his thumb and could be out for a few weeks.
- The team was given credit for 11 hits with Tim Gleason leading the way with three. Maurice said that he liked Gleason's game.
- The Hurricanes finished at 42% in the faceoff circle. Here are the center's percentages: Staal 36%, Ruutu 25%, Sutter 67%, and Brent 22%.
- Gleason also led the team with four blocked shots.