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Recap and Rank ‘Em: Hanifin Lifts Hurricanes over Jackets, 2-1 in OT

The Hurricanes put their 12 game point streak on the line as the high-flying Columbus Blue Jackets came to Raleigh.

Jamie Kellner

The Carolina Hurricanes came into Thursday night’s home contest against the Columbus Blue Jackets desperate for two points to keep themselves in the hunt for a playoff spot.

With an 8-0-4 record in their last 12 contests, they also came in with the opportunity to set a franchise record for the most consecutive games in which they recorded a point.

The Hurricanes got off to a slow start in the first period, as they recorded just one shot on goal in the game’s first ten minutes to Columbus’s seven. Cam Ward came up with some nice stops to keep the game level during that time frame.

Carolina would then turn the tables on the Jackets, as they got the next six shots on goal. This was helped along by a power play opportunity that the Hurricanes got when David Savard was whistled for slashing.

The power play was a good one, as the Hurricanes had numerous opportunities to get on the board. It wasn’t all good, however, as Jeff Skinner was hobbled when he took a shot from Derek Ryan to his ankle in an effort to dodge the puck. Skinner hobbled to the bench and had to be helped to the room.

The ‘Canes weren’t able to capitalize on any of the chances they generated on the power play, and the period ended with both teams even in terms of shots on goal with seven.

At the beginning of the second period, Skinner was nowhere to be found on the bench, but ‘Canes fans could breathe a sigh of relief pretty quickly as it only took a minute and change into the period before the winger was back with this teammates.

Columbus got an opportunity to break the tie on a power play of their own, but they also weren’t able to do so as the Carolina penalty kill held strong.

The Hurricanes then got their turn with a man advantage when Kyle Quincey took a penalty when he held Brock McGinn’s stick. Carolina once again generated some high-quality opportunities, but Columbus goaltender Joonas Korpisalo stood tall and kept the game tied.

Then, Carolina’s inability to capitalize would cost them, as Columbus broke the tie when former Hurricane draft pick Jack Johnson streaked down the left side, drew Ward too far to the near side, and sent a shot high to Ward’s glove side to give the Jackets a 1-0 lead.

That would be the score going into the third period, as the shots on goal remained even at 18 following 40 minutes of play.

The desperate Hurricanes gave a visible effort, but for the majority of the third period, they weren’t able to crack the very tough Blue Jackets defensive systems.

Columbus plays classic John Tortorella hockey when they’re ahead in the third, and they executed that very well.

There was one notable shift from the Victor Rask, Teuvo Teravainen, and Joakim Nordstrom line with about seven minutes remaining in the third where they were absolutely dominant in possession but were unable to sort through the mess of white jerseys in front of Korpisalo well enough to generate a real chance.

As it turned out, it wouldn’t really even take a “real chance” to tie the game. Jeff Skinner threw the puck toward the net from the half wall, and it bounced off of either Seth Jones’s or Rask’s skate and by Korpisalo for the tying goal.

The goal was credited to Skinner, with the assists going to Teravainen and Brett Pesce.

With about four minutes still to go before they would secure a point, both teams would have to withstand pushes from their opposition.

They were able to do so, and the game was sent to overtime. For Carolina, it was a much needed point, but overtime probably wasn’t a part of the game where they felt particularly comfortable, having lost several decisions in overtime in a row prior to this one.

This time, their fate reversed, as a beautiful move by Skinner to gain the zone created a rebound that skidded past the Columbus defenders and to a wide open Noah Hanifin, who made no mistake as he blasted it past a sprawling Korpisalo.

The Hurricanes will have the opportunity to keep their playoff push and continue their point streak going when the Dallas Stars come to town on Saturday.

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