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"We Beat Ourselves" - Blue Jackets 4, Hurricanes 3

Carolina allows two goals late to blow lead in loss to Columbus at home

Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller (file photo)
Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller (file photo)
James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller summed it up after the game when he was asked what happened in the last five minutes of his team's latest home loss.

"We beat ourselves", the coach said.

The Canes were up 3-2 and were dominating in the third period, but a couple of errors later, and a couple of odd man rushes for the Blue Jackets, and the home team found themselves at the wrong end of a 4-3 loss to the visitors.

The game was pretty evenly played until the third period when the Jackets got off to a fast start, but then the Hurricanes took the lead on an Alexander Semin goal, drew a penalty call, and were setting up camp in the Columbus zone.

With 4:02 left in the game, the home team turned the puck over and Ryan Johansen made them pay with a pretty shot that beat Justin Peters.    Then, just 1:28 later, the Jackets came down with another odd man rush, this time after a slow Hurricanes line change, and Jack Skille made another open shot on Peters to give the visitors an unlikely lead.

The Hurricanes could not light the lamp on Mike McKenna again and the Jackets held on for the win.

Columbus jumped out to a 1-0 lead 9:45 into the opening period as Cam Atkinson fed Artem Anisimov in front of the net.  But the Hurricanes tied it up late in the period when Jeff Skinner jumped on a puck right after a faceoff win by Eric Staal.  It was a powerplay tally for Carolina.

After Corey Tropp gave the Jackets the lead again in the second period as he knocked in his first goal near the crease, Skinner would strike again as the Canes got a two man advantage.  Alexander Semin took a Jordan Staal faceoff win and fed it to Skinner, who was open in the slot area.

It was Skinner's 14th goal of the season and his 10th in his last 10 games.

After two periods, it was a dead even game as both teams had 17 shots on goal, missed the net eight times, and had 11 shots blocked.  But the Canes had the special teams advantage as they were 2-4 with the powerplay while the Jackets were 0-4.

Carolina was doubling up the visitors with shots on goal in the third, (16-8).  They took a 3-2 lead when Jordan Staal held the puck and fed an open Semin, who made no mistake with a snap shot.  The Canes did not hold back and continued to attack the net and even had another powerplay chance, but things backfired when Jiri Tlusty turned over the puck at his blueline.  Johansen made him pay.

After Skille made it 4-3, Skinner had another beauty of a chance to get his second hat trick of his career and season, but McKenna made the stop.

The team and coach were not happy about this loss, but will try to learn from it as they go into a three day shut down by the NHL.  They will next take on the Penguins on Friday night at the PNC.

Game Notes:

  • The Canes got 33 shots and were led by Justin Faulk with five.  Skinner and Sekera had four each. 
  • Justin Peters allowed four goals on 25 shots and probably wished he had a couple of those goals back, but the last two he allowed were on open shots and were not easy saves.
  • The team was credited with 31 hits and were led by Tim Gleason and Brett Bellemore with five each.
  • Andrej Sekera had a team high 25:39 of ice time.  Faulk was next with 22:58.
  • The Carolina powerplay looked much better and went 2-6 while the penalty kill did not allow a goal, (0-5).
  • The Jackets were without their big guns in this game, as Sergei Bobrovsky, Nathan Horton, and Marian Gaborik were all out with injuries.