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FINAL: Blue Jackets 3, Hurricanes 2

Columbus deals Carolina its first loss of the season

by Jeff Svoboda @JacketsInsider /

The Blue Jackets dropped Carolina from the ranks of the unbeaten Saturday night, winning by a 3-2 score in PNC Arena in Raleigh.  

Game in a Paragraph 

The teams were largely even through the first two periods in both goals and shot attempts, with it a 1-1 game after a period and a 2-2 score after two. Columbus then took the lead early in the third on a goal by Pierre-Luc Dubois and made it stand while improving to 2-3-0.

Quote of the Night

Head coach John Tortorella: "They should feel good about themselves. Everybody contributed. We had some grind to our game. I think that's something that's been missing consistently in our game. It was there most of the night."

CBJ Notables 

  • Oliver Bjorkstrand scored his second goal of the season, giving him 99 career points (46-53-99).  
  • Markus Nutivaara tallied his first goal of the season and finished plus-3 along with defensive partner Ryan Murray, who had two assists. 
  • Dubois stretched his point streak to three games and his goal streak to two with a tally in the third period. 

Video: CBJ@CAR: Dubois nets backhander on break

Quick Recap 

Columbus got the first goal of the game at 10:17 of the opening period, with Nutivaara tallying the easiest goal he'll ever score. Wennberg protected the puck along the left wall then fed it to an onrushing Murray, who spied Nutivaara having moved down all alone to the back post, and his perfect pass was tapped in by his defensive partner past Carolina goalie James Reimer. 

"It was weird," Nutivaara. "I looked at the puck and I was like, 'That's it? That's all I have to do?'"

Video: CBJ@CAR: Nutivaara finishes Murray's great pass

But Carolina needed just 27 seconds to answer as Erik Haula scored his fifth goal of the campaign. Martin Necas passed it out from behind the net to Ryan Dzingel, and the former Blue Jacket found Haula alone in the slot for a quick shot past Joonas Korpisalo's blocker.  

Otherwise, Korpisalo was sharp in the first period, with his biggest stop coming on a tip right in front of the net by Jordan Staal that was swallowed up by the CBJ goalie's glove. 

Cam Atkinson had two good looks on Reimer alone in front early in the second off a feed from Gustav Nyquist, but the Carolina goalie stood tall. 

The Canes then took a 2-1 lead at 2:51 of the frame. After Korpisalo had lost his stick, the puck came out to Dougie Hamilton at the top of the right circle, and his slap shot to the far corner got past the blocker of the Blue Jackets netminder. 

This time, it was Columbus' turn to answer on the next shift, as Bjorkstrand scored 17 seconds later. It was a fantastic individual effort, as he skated the puck behind the net, came out to the slot and wired a wrist shot over Reimer's glove side shoulder.  

It stayed 2-2 into the third after Dubois hit the crossbar with a power-play blast late in the second, but he'd make no mistake while giving the CBJ the lead 1:15 into the third. Taking a breakout pass from Gustav Nyquist, Dubois fought off Carolina's Brock McGinn in a one-on-one battle before a forehand-backhand finish over Reimer to give the Jackets the lead.  

Korpisalo made a big save on a puck that changed directions off the stick of Jaccob Slavin with around 7:30 to go and Columbus withstood more than two minutes of empty-net time to finish off the win.

Video: CBJ@CAR: Korpisalo robs Staal with great save

3 Takeaways

1. A needed win: Teams are happy with every win, but this one felt a little more important than others. Coming off a tough loss Friday night and facing a team that had been absolutely flying, the Blue Jackets could use a bit of a conifidence boost and got one. Tortorella admitted being 1-4 would have been a tough pill to swallow with three off days upcoming, but now the team goes into its Sunday off day with a good vibe. Meanwhile, Nutivaara admitted this one felt pretty good. "I mean, just look at the guys. Everybody is so happy and relieved and stuff like that. Of course, (Carolina) had the streak going, so we wanted to cut that down."

2. What a pair: Sticking with Nutivaara, his defensive pairing with Murray was fantastic, as the duo was on the ice for all three CBJ goals as well as a 10-3 edge for Columbus in scoring chances. The games of the two seem to complement each other, as each is a smart, savvy player with the ability to get the puck up the ice quickly. And as the goal showed, there's a bit of offensive chemistry well, as each saw the right time to shoot forward based on a read of the play. "I like the way he plays," Nutivaara said. "We have the same mind-set. We don't (even) talk much on the ice. We just know that he's going to be there, I'm going to be there. It makes the game so much faster."

3. There's a lot of other takeaways we could go with here -- what a job by both Bjorkstrand and Dubois all night, and the defensive outing was superb all the way around -- but the play of Korpisalo deserves notice. The goalie finished with 30 saves and was his sharpest -- and perhaps most confident -- he's been all season. From the first few minutes, it was clear he was on his game, and that confidence then transferred to his teammates as the night went on. For his part, Korpisalo credited his defenders, saying, "I saw (the puck) most of the night. (Our) players did a really good job of taking sticks away and blocking shots there."


Both teams finished 0-for-3 on the power play. … Reimer came into the game with just two wins in 11 games in his career vs. Columbus with a 3.81 goals-against average in those appearances. … Hamilton scored in his fourth straight game for Carolina. … Carolina's Teuvo Teravainen played in his 206th consecutive game, while Dubois skated in his 169th straight contest.

Roster Report 

Columbus kept the same lineup as Friday night, with forward Markus Hannikainen and defensemen Scott Harrington and Dean Kukan the healthy scratches. 

Up Next 

Columbus has three days off before a Wednesday night game in Nationwide Arena vs. Dallas. 

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