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Aho scores two, but Canes fall in overtime

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The Hurricanes did not get off to a good start Thursday night, and it ultimately cost them in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Sebastian Aho retains possession of the puck in overtime against the Columbus Blue Jackets, Thursday, Mar. 18, 2021 in PNC Arena. The Canes lost at home, 3-2 in overtime.
Kaydee Gawlik

Despite really only having their A-game for one period of regulation Thursday night, the Hurricanes managed to walk away with a point, but could not come up with the second in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Sebastian Aho scored both of the Hurricanes’ goals, and Alex Nedeljkovic made 25 saves in net.

Carolina nearly won it in the first minute of overtime, as Aho set up Jaccob Slavin on the doorstep, but Joonas Korpisalo robbed him point blank. Carolina had another golden chance with under two minutes to play, as Martin Necas had a clear-cut breakaway from the red line in, but Korpisalo denied him.

Columbus then won the game with under two minutes left in overtime, as Seth Jones beat Nedeljkovic with a shot off the rush.

The Canes’ power play got an early chance under two minutes into the game but put out one of its worst performances of the season, forcing Nedeljkovic to make two sharp saves shorthanded.

Carolina’s sloppy first continued, and, with about six minutes left in the frame, Seth Jones pounced on the rebound of an Oliver Bjorkstrand shot from the slot to make it 1-0.

Overall, the Hurricanes were probably lucky to get to the first intermission down only a goal, as they rarely threatened in the offensive zone and looked out of sync in a period in which they were outshot 14-7.

The Hurricanes came out with much more jump in the second period and tied the game just 51 seconds into the frame. Warren Foegele won a battle behind the net and gave the puck to Nino Niederreiter, who slid a backhand feed to Aho at the top of the right circle that the Finnish center roofed to make it 1-1.

The Canes’ power play then gave the team the lead in its third opportunity of the night. Following over a minute of crisp puck movement, Martin Necas found Aho in the slot, and Aho buried his second of the game to put Carolina up 2-1. Dougie Hamilton also picked up his 20th assist of the season on Aho’s goal to extend his point streak to 10 games.

The Canes came inches from making it 3-1 shortly after Aho’s second, but Joonas Korpisalo got across to deny Warren Foegele with a yawning cage.

Columbus tied the game at two with about two minutes left in the second period, as Max Domi slid a pass across to Kevin Stenlund, who buried it to knot things up.

Somewhat similarly to the first, the third period was not the Canes’ best performance, as they struggled to get anything going and didn’t record a shot on goal in the first 15:30 of the frame.

They managed to keep the Blue Jackets off the board, however, sending the game to bonus hockey.