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Recap and Rank ‘Em: Hurricanes top Blue Jackets 3-1

The Hurricanes visited the Columbus Blue Jackets as the first leg of a back-to-back on Friday night.

NHL: Carolina Hurricanes at Columbus Blue Jackets Jason Mowry-USA TODAY Sports

After defeating the Florida Panthers at home on Tuesday night, the ‘Canes kicked off a back-to-back set by paying a visit to the city of Columbus to take on the 9-6-1 Blue Jackets.

In the last meeting between the two teams, Jeff Skinner scored a late goal to tie the game at one apiece and send it to overtime. Ultimately, Sergei Bobrovsky outdueled Scott Darling as the Jackets prevailed.

On this night, Carolina would need to play catch-up once again, as Brandon Dubinsky broke in past Justin Faulk early and beat Cam Ward to give Columbus an early 1-0 lead.

That goal came after Carolina opened the game with a few strong shifts that they were unable to capitalize on. Stop me if you’ve ever heard anything like this before.

After the ‘Canes controlled play more and pieced together a few chances to tie the game which Bobrovsky denied, Josh Jooris was whistled for a penalty, giving the Blue Jackets the first power play opportunity of the game.

The period ended shortly thereafter with the score still favoring Columbus while the Hurricanes held an edge of 12-8 in terms of shots on goal.

Early in the second period, Columbus had a golden opportunity to extend their lead to two when a broken play led to Jeff Skinner taking a one-handed stab at the puck looking for another player to take it and exit the Carolina zone. He whiffed it a little bit, and the puck sat in the middle of the ice right in front of the blue line for Artemi Panarin. Panarin came in unchallenged and unfurled a quick wrist shot that was denied by a sharp glove save from Ward.

As the early moments of the period went on, the Canes got hemmed into their own end for extended periods of time. It was a bend-but-don’t-break sort of stretch for Carolina, as despite Columbus’s possession time, they were unable to generate another quality chance on Ward.

That paid off in a big way as when the Hurricanes finally found themselves with the puck in Columbus’s end, Noah Hanifin took the puck at the point, wound up, drew defenders in, and surprised everybody with a slap pass to a wide open Jordan Staal at the side of the goal. Staal re-directed the pass past a sprawling Bobrovsky to tie the game.

That would be all for the scoring in the second period, as another successful penalty kill by the Hurricanes made sure the teams would go into the third level at one. Carolina held a 21-14 advantage in shots on goal after two.

Just under three minutes into the third, Carolina finally got their first man advantage of the game when Boone Jenner was called for a tripping infraction.

The Hurricanes, entering this night 1 out of their last 14 on the power play, had another lackluster showing this time and did not pose a serious threat to Bobrovsky.

We reached a turning point in the game, when a broken play led to Cam Atkinson breaking free in alone on Ward. He deked to the far post on his forehand, but Ward got there with the pad to keep the game tied.

Shortly thereafter, Aho and Teravainen combined to outmuscle two defenders on an entry play. Aho forced the puck over to Teravainen, who hesitated and drew two Blue Jackets to him as Staal streaked in unnoticed. With the defenders committed to him, Teravainen sent a slick feed to Staal, who unleashed a one-time slapper from in close and sent it over Bobrovsky to give the Hurricanes a 2-1 lead.

Columbus’s push was noticeable as they looked for an equalizer and started to do a better job of controlling the play. It was consistently strong defensive zone coverage by the Hurricanes that helped preserve the lead into the waning moments of the contest.

And when the time came for Bobrovsky to vacate his net in favor of the extra attacker, Columbus wasn’t able to even establish themselves in the Carolina zone, as Brock McGinn pounced on a loose puck in the neutral zone and sent a backhand down and into the yawning cage.

With the 3-1 win, the Hurricanes improved to 6-5-3 on the young season. They’ll return home to Raleigh tomorrow night when they will entertain the Chicago Blackhawks.

Rank the Performances

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