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Canes Drop Preseason Opener To Blue Jackets, 5-4

Alex Semin scores twice for Carolina but Marian Gaborik answers for visitors

Alex Semin is given two minutes for doing something some players have done their entire careers
Alex Semin is given two minutes for doing something some players have done their entire careers
photo by Jamie Kellner

The Carolina Hurricanes had some good and some bad to their game as they dropped a high scoring affair to the Columbus Blue Jackets, 5-4 on Wednesday night at the PNC Arena.

Alexander Semin scored twice for the home team while Jeremy Welsh and Eric Staal added one goal apiece in the losing effort.

Head coach Kirk Muller said after the game that he was hoping for a bit more intensity from some of his players, but for the most part seemed happy with the overall effort.

"Early on I thought we were okay, playing smart and steady, but it kind of got away from us.  So, intensity level overall as a game, it wasn't an intense first game," the coach said.

Cam Ward went the distance for the Canes, but was not on his "A" game.  When asked about Ward's performance the coach just said that it had been a long time since the goalie had been in a game.  They plan on him getting plenty of work this preseason.

Semin opened the scoring on a powerplay chance with a nice sniper type shot from the circle area.  Michal Jordan got the assist.

Columbus came right back though with two straight goals.  The first one by Boone Jenner was a wide open rebound attempt at Ward's doorstep.  The next was similar to the first as Marian Gaborik knocked in an open shot from in close.

The Canes went into the dressing room at the end of the first period outshooting the visitors 15-7 while losing on the scoreboard 2-1, but they came out with jump in the second and scored twice within 1:10.

Jeremy Welsh roofed a nice backhand shot in the net after being set up nicely by Chris Terry.  Then Semin skated the puck into the Jackets' zone and rifled a shot topshelf into the net.

Eric Staal would make it 4-2 just 7:23 into the second when he knocked in a rebound from a Jay Harrison shot.

But Columbus scored three straight goals to take the lead and the game with one goal later in the second and two in the third.

The Hurricanes took too many penalties in this one and were called for seven minors, including one for too many men on the ice as well as a delay of game call on Semin for having his jersey tucked in.  They went 1-4 while on the powerplay and allowed 1-7 while shorthanded.

The team left for Buffalo as soon as the game was over and will play the next three nights in a row on the road.

The team will leave for Buffalo after the two groups skate in the morning.

Game Notes:

  • Ryan Murphy led all Hurricanes with 22:51 of ice time.  He finished at +1. Jack Johnson had 28:02 of ice time for the Jackets.
  • The team had 34 shots on goal with several players at three each.  While being outshot 26-15 after two periods, the Jackets poured it on in the third and ended up at just a 34-31 disadvantage.
  • Carolina was credited with 22 hits led by Tim Gleason with seven and Drayson Bowman with five.
  • The Canes only had nine blocked shots compared to 24 for Columbus.
  • Elias Lindholm was impressive in the circle and won a team high 67% of his faceoffs. (8 of 12)
  • The coach said he was still looking for certain guys to "stand out".