The Carolina Hurricanes returned from a six day break to finish off their four-game road trip with an up and down performance that ultimately netted one point in the standings in a 4-3 overtime defeat. The game-winning goal provided by Cam Atkinson did not do justice to the performance of Petr Mrazek in net for the Canes, as his effort was the main reason Carolina escaped with anything to show for their work on Thursday night.
The beginning of the contest was quite eventful, as Columbus jumped out on the scoreboard with Alexandre Texier smashing home a one-timer on a two-on-one rush. Carolina answered quickly as Dougie Hamilton got off a quick snapper on the slot following a beautiful feed from Warren Foegele near the offensive blue line evening the score at 1.
With two goals inside the first five minutes of action, the tone was set in regards to the style of play in this divisional battle. The Canes were able to take control of the initial period of play following that tally, as Ryan Dzingel returned to his former Ohio State and Blue Jacket stomping grounds with a terrific finish to an empty net set up by a drive to the net by Martin Necas and a drop pass to Dzingel. Less than a minute later, Sebastian Aho jumped back into the goal column with a deft tip of a Brett Pesce shot from the point in the center of the ice.
As the Canes headed into the first intermission leading 3-1, there was reason to believe Carolina might be able to maintain control throughout the evening following their three consecutive markers. However, that thought was turned on its head quickly in the second period. The Blue Jackets dominated all aspects of the action in the middle period, ultimately culminating in the scoring of two Columbus goals that evened the score at 3-3 headed to the third period, and Rod Brind’Amour burning his timeout to gather his troops for a talk.
Columbus controlled the puck almost constantly, resulting in a stark 15-3 shot advantage in the second. Even with the total dominance, it took more than half the period for the Jackets to scratch in the period, as Ryan Murray flicked one past Mrazek glove-side to cut the lead, and was followed by Sonny Milano with under three minutes remaining in the period.
Looking to rebound from an ugly second period, the Canes quickly went on the power play. They did not convert however, and a tight third period was on. Mrazek continued his stellar work (even with the prior three goals allowed), stoning Josh Anderson directly in front of the net near the midpoint of the period. Despite not being able to muster any offense on yet another power play or in four-on-four action, the Canes were able to grind along with Columbus and push the action into overtime.
In the extra period, the CBJ’s controlled the puck first, but Mrazek again had the answer, this time on a power move from Seth Jones and then a solid chance from Gustav Nyquist. Finally though, the Jackets pushed through with Atkinson tapping home a cross-crease pass on a two-on-one to end the contest at 4-3.
Mrazek finished with 27 saves on the night. Eight different Canes scratched the scoresheet. The Canes will now return home for a State Fair matinee on Saturday against the Chicago Blackhawks.