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What We Learned: CAR 2, CBJ 1 (OT)

Jackets offense struggles in overtime loss

by Alison Lukan @AlisonL /

Postgame: Tortorella (3/30/17)

Torts on lack of consistent offense recently

John Tortorella on lack of consistent offense recently

  • 01:57 •

The Jackets came out of Carolina with a point but not a win as they fell 2-1 in overtime to the Hurricanes Thursday.

It took until 16:25 into the second period for either team to get on the scoreboard. The first goal came on Jack Johnson's first shot of the night, when he took a cross-ice pass from Scott Hartnell at the top of the zone and carried the puck into the left circle before firing a perfectly placed shot into the top right corner of the net. Sam Gagner had the secondary assist.

After two periods, it was 1-0 Jackets.

But the Hurricanes, who are fighting for their post-season lives, came into the final frame with an offensive push and the Jackets had no answer. Carolina evened the score with 4:20 to go in regulation when a Jeff Skinner shot banked into the net behind Joonas Korpisalo off Seth Jones' skate.

The game went to overtime, and 2:16 in, the Hurricanes struck again when Noah Hanifin gathered the rebound off a Korpisalo poke check and fired from the slot for the game winner.

The Jackets remain in second place in both the Metro division and the NHL, but the biggest focus is on the lack of consistent offense coming from the team's forwards right now. The Jackets have only scored more than two goals once in their last five games.

Video: Foligno on sparking a struggling CBJ offense

"I thought we were hard tonight," John Tortorella said. "I thought we had some good forechecking throughout the game. I thought we defended well, I thought they did too. Give them some credit. But if we get some big guys going and if they're playing where they should be maybe it's not (just) 1-0, I don't know. We have to keep our head down and keep working at it."

Here's what we learned.

Stop dissecting it.

The search for consistent offense is on. But the time for discussion is ending quickly. The fact remains that the answer to how to get the offense going again is simply to get the offense going.

"I think we have to stop the rhetoric," Tortorella said. "We just have to play better. There's no sense in dissecting this anymore. Our top guys have got to play better."

Video: JJ on dealing with a late Carolina push tonight

A game of inches.

"Puck luck," "a lucky bounce." You hear it all the time. As games tighten up as the regular season winds down, the Jackets need to build up multi-goal leads to protect against the weird chances that can come along. With only a one goal lead going into the third period, the Jackets had no cushion when Carolina got on the board.

"We need to be producing at a more regular rate," Foligno said. "Tonight a goal came (bouncing) off a skate, (and the other came) off a poke check. You have to find a way that when you have a chance, you bury it."

Silver lining Sedlak.

The Jackets' lone goal came from the Scott Hartnell-Lukas Sedlak-Sam Gagner line. The play started after Sedlak won a faceoff, then Gagner sent the pass to Hartnell who levied a saucer pass to Johnson. Johnson had a clean lane to the net because Sedlak hustled down and pulled Cam Ward to the near side of the goal, giving Johnson more net to shoot into and he capitalized.

"When you're walking in like that you don't want a screen because then it's almost like trying to get it around two goalies," Johnson said. "The biggest thing is (his play) drew their defensemen out so he couldn't front me so he allowed me to shoot."

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