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

Rookie Sonny Milano scored twice, including the breakaway winner in overtime

by Craig Merz /

It was a Sonny night in Raleigh, N.C.

Rookie Sonny Milano scored twice, including the breakaway winner in overtime, and the Blue Jackets survived giving up a late goal to defeat the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1 on Tuesday at PNC Arena.

The Hurricanes missed a 3-on-1 opportunity when Sebastian Aho fired wide. Milano picked up the puck along the right board and skated alone. He roofed a backhand over Scott Darling for his fourth goal with 31 seconds left.

Sergei Bobrovsky was 85 seconds from his second straight shutout, thanks to a record-tying goal by Milano for a 1-0 lead midway through the third period, but Jeff Skinner scored an unassisted goal off a turnover for the 1-1 tie.

Carolina (1-0-1) had the empty net when Jackets rookie Markus Hannikainen tried a clearance from deep in the zone but Skinner reached over his head to glove the puck then beat Bobrovsky for his first goal of the season, but ninth in 20 games all-time vs. Columbus.

The Hurricanes then had five shots on goal during a power-play in overtime. 

Video: CBJ@CAR: Milano scores on a breakaway to win it in OT

Bobrovsky, who had 29 saves in the season-opening 5-0 win vs. the New York Islanders on Friday, made 37 saves against the Hurricanes. Scott Darling stopped 25 shots for Carolina.

Milano tied a Blue Jackets record to give the Blue Jackets the 1-0 lead with 9:59 left in the third period.

He has scored in three straight games to start the season to match the mark set by Kristian Huselius to open the 2010-11 season.

Nick Foligno won the draw to Oliver Bjorkstrand, who sent the puck behind the Carolina net where Milano gathered then banked a shot off Darling.

Right wing Josh Anderson made his season debut for the Blue Jackets after missing the training camp. He was inserted on the third line with center Brandon Dubinsky and Matt Calvert on the opposite side.

Video: CBJ@CAR: Milano scores from a tough angle off Darling

They were a part of the adjustments made by coach John Tortorella after a 5-1 loss at Chicago on Saturday. Captain Nick Foligno moved to the top line in place of Alexander Wennberg to center Artemi Panarin on the left and Cam Atkinson on the right.

By late in the second period, however, the top lines from the first two games were restored and the result was the game's first goal.

The Blue Jackets are 2-1-0. They return to Nationwide Arena on Friday to play the New York Rangers.

Video: CBJ@CAR: Bobrovsky denies Teravainen on two-on-one

By the numbers

400: Carolina center Marcus Kruger played his 40th NHL game.

10: The teams next meet Nov. 10 in Columbus.

3: Foligno has an assist in each of the first three games.

2: Crafty Artemi Panarin drew two penalties in the first 24 minutes, a hold by Brett Pesce and a hook on Jordan Staal.

What they said

Sonny Milano on his winning goal: "When they have three guys up like that you kind of know you have a pretty good chance of a 2-on-1 or a breakaway.. … That was my go-to (move). I was pretty tired after a long shift."

Nick Foligno on the Jackets' 2-1-0 record: "You win 5-0, lose 5-1.There's such an extreme at both ends. You need a game where it's tight checking - 1-0 game, 1-1, 2-1, we win. Sometimes you gain more confidence from a game like this."

John Tortorella said the penalty kill in overtime was the difference: "That gave us a boost. I thought we did a really good job. I'm not sure how many chances they had but most of them were in an area where (Sergei Bobrovsky) was right there. At that time of the game that was very important. Then, we shoot one wide and they go on and odd-man rush. They shoot one wide, we get a breakaway. We score, they don't."

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