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FINAL: Blue Jackets 4, Hurricanes 3 (OT)

Columbus point streak hits six as Atkinson nets overtime winner

by Jeff Svoboda @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

The Blue Jackets saw their point streak run to six games with a 4-3 overtime victory over Carolina, Columbus' second win of the year vs. the Metropolitan Division rival, on Thursday night at Nationwide Arena.  

Game in a Paragraph 

After Columbus scored early, a couple of weird plays gave Carolina a 3-1 lead by the end of the opening period. The Blue Jackets battled back, though, with a pair of tallies to tie the score at 3 in a dominant second period. After a wild third, it stayed 3-3, sending Columbus to its fourth straight overtime. Cam Atkinson then won it with his third goal of the year to send the fans home happy. 

Video: Blue Jackets rally to beat Hurricanes in OT

Quote of the Game

Head coach John Tortorella: "It was another opportunity presented to us as far as not blowing up. Starting in that second period, we needed to stay patient, not try to score. We just needed to play above the puck. It's such a fast team we're playing against. We kept our patience, played above the puck and probably played, out of all the minutes we've played this year, probably the fastest I've seen this team play in transition."

CBJ Notables 

  • Sonny Milano scored a second highlight-reel goal in as many tallies this season. 
  • Alexandre Texier scored his second goal of the season and the third of his regular-season NHL career.  
  • Ryan Murray scored his first goal of the season and first since last Nov. 6 of last season. He added an assist for the 14th multipoint game in his career, and all four of his points this year have come against Carolina.

Quick Recap 

It looked like it might be the Jackets' night as Texier lit the lamp just 3:21 into the game. The Blue Jackets broke out in a 4-on-1 and made no mistake, as Emil Bemstrom carried the puck into the offensive zone on the left side and fed it across to Texier for a one-timer from the right circle past Petr Mrazek. 

But 1:11 later, it was a tie game as Carolina replied with its own transition goal. Vladislav Gavrikov was the only man back and took Warren Foegele, who dropped a pass to Dougie Hamilton in the middle of the ice, and he fired past Joonas Korpisalo's blocker as he hit the slot. 

Then, a pair of odd but critical mistakes by Columbus allowed Carolina to take a 3-1 lead. First, at 11:43, Ryan Murray's stick broke as he came back into his zone to play the puck. Martin Necas was left to advance on Korpisalo alone and, after the goalie waited him out, dropped a pass to Ryan Dzingel to send home as the Jackets frantically tried to backtrack. 

It was a 3-1 game 49 seconds later. Sonny Milano stepped on the puck in his defensive zone as he tried to clear it, allowing the Canes to gain possession, and moments later Sebastian Aho tipped home Brett Pesce's shot from in front.  

Columbus battled back in the second period, increasing the pressure -- the Jackets had a 20-6 edge in shot attempts and a 15-3 advantage in shots on goal in the period -- until tying the score at 3 late in the frame. 

After Mrazek made some point-blank stops on Zach Werenski and Pierre-Luc Dubois as well as poke-checking a near certain goal away from Nick Foligno in his 500th game as a Blue Jacket, Murray made it 3-2 at 12:57. He took a drop feed from Boone Jenner as he entered the zone with speed, got into the left circle and fired a wrist shot off the glove of Mrazek and in. 

Milano then made it 3-3 with 2:37 left in the period with another fantastic tally. David Savard made a nice feed to him at the blue line, and Milano sped by defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk before quickly switching the puck to his backhand and flipping it over Mrazek.  

Video: CAR@CBJ: Milano sneaks in backhand shot to tie it

Korpisalo used all of his pad to deny Dzingel at the post on a power play late in the period, keeping it 3-3 going to the third.  

Josh Anderson nearly netted his first goal of the year with 11:55 left as he charged into the slot all alone and put a one-timer on Mrazek, but the Carolina goalie swallowed up the shot. Korpisalo also made some big stops on a Carolina power play near the midpoint of the period and had to be sharp throughout as the Canes pushed for the go-ahead goal, including with 2:18 left on a snapper in close from Andrei Svechnikov. 

Seth Jones danced in and nearly scored on the first shift, and Gustav Nyquist did the same on the second. Finally, the Jackets got the win with 1:32 left in overtime as Dubois skated by Necas and fed Atkinson at the far post for a tap-in.

3 Takeaways

1. Are you not entertained? Or at least stressed out? Ten games into the season, Columbus has played eight one-goal games -- all in a row, going 5-1-2 in that span -- and five OT contests, going 3-2. That leaves the Blue Jackets on pace for 41 overtime games, though that seems a little high. Still, with its focus on eliminating odd-man rushes and playing the right way, this team is going to play in a lot of close games. "I think that's part of our system this year," Texier admitted. "It's not going to be 5-0 every night." Yet with two straight overtime winners, there are some good vibes about the team's ability to play in the close ones. "We certainly have shown some resiliency here," Tortorella said.

2. Banking it: The 4-0-2 point streak has lifted Columbus to 12 points on the season, firmly in the playoff race, though it's obviously far too early for that. Still, while you can't clinch a playoff spot this early in the season, you can essentially lose one -- ask the 2011-12 Blue Jackets, or the 2015-16 versions. But this team, left for dead by many after a rough start, has shown its character over the past six games. "These points are crucial," Atkinson said. "We have to keep them coming in the bank."

3. Everybody chips in: Hard to decide who deserves a shout out most after the game. Props to Texier and Bemstrom for combining for a big goal early on. Milano overcame some early sloppiness to score another excellent goal. We'll have more on Dubois and Atkinson tomorrow. Werenski was everywhere at times in the game. But how about the defensive pairing of Murray and Savard, put together thanks to the injury to Markus Nutivaara? The two combined for a goal and three assists, proving yet again that Murray is as smooth as they come and Savard can play with just about anyone. "It's pretty easy to get back in the groove with Murr," Savard said, and it was nice to see Murray respond from his early bad luck.

Notable 

Columbus had a 31-24 edge in shots on goal. ... Carolina was 0-for-3 on the power play while Columbus was 0-2. ... Atkinson now has 39 career game-winning goals and six OT tallies. ... With an assist on Bemstrom's goal, Nash is one helper away from 100 in his NHL career, while Jenner is two away from the same mark with his helper on Murray's goal. … Paired with Murray, Savard had two assists, giving him 17 multipoint games in his career. … Dubois has a 4-2-6 line in the last eight games. ... Hamilton now has six goals on the year, most in the NHL among defensemen, and has scored in both games of the season series. … Columbus remains undefeated on the year in regulation when scoring first (5-0-0) and when tied after two periods (3-0-2). ... Columbus is 31-18 all-time in games decided during the 3-on-3 overtime. 

Roster Report 

Nutivaara (lower-body injury) was scratched and replaced in the lineup by Scott Harrington. Healthy scratches were forward Jakob Lilja and defenseman Dean Kukan. 

Up Next 

Columbus will stay in the Metropolitan Division on Saturday night when it travels to take on Philadelphia at 7 p.m. 

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