HURRICANES 3 | BLUE JACKETS 1
The shoe was on the other foot tonight at Nationwide Arena, and Anton Khudobin kicked out pretty much everything that he saw.
Carolina, struggling coming into tonight's game and having recently been challenged by their head coach, Kirk Muller, had no intention of playing out the string tonight in Columbus and they upended a Blue Jackets team that desperately needed points. Khudobin finished with 46 saves - a career-high - as the Hurricanes left town with a 3-1 victory that has the Blue Jackets out of third place in the division and into the conference's second wild card spot.
FINAL: CANES 3 | JACKETS 1
The Hurricanes started early, scoring the opening goal on a 2-on-1 born from a poor pinch by Fedor Tyutin. Nathan Gerbe stole the puck and took off, holding and shooting far-side on Sergei Bobrovsky for a 1-0 lead at 3:41 of the first.
But the opening period tilted back the Jackets' way after that, and despite 11 shots at Khudobin in the frame, they were unable to get one past the Carolina netminder.
And in the second period, Columbus did itself no favors. A string of penalties gave the Hurricanes ample opportunities to widen the margin, and they did just that. Andrei Loktionov, a trade deadline pick-up for Carolina, made it 2-0 by poking in a loose puck at 2:23 of the second period and Patrick Dwyer smoked a slap shot past Bobrovsky off the rush at 17:20 of the second.
Curtis McElhinney played the third period for the Blue Jackets, who pushed feverishly to get back in the game.
They out-shot Carolina 19-0 in the third period - the first time in team history the Jackets have held an opponent without a shot for an entire period - but got only one goal from Boone Jenner in the final minute.
The second period was a big turning point in the game, with the Blue Jackets looking to get on the board trailing by just a goal...but the Hurricanes were opportunistic and capitalized on their chances.
1. ANTON KHUDOBIN (CAR)
The Carolina netminder was the difference, stopping 46 shots and beating the Jackets for the second time in as many tries.
2. ANDREI LOKTIONOV (CAR)
The newcomer recorded a multi-point game tonight, scoring the 2-0 goal and setting up Dwyer for the Hurricanes' third goal late in the second period.
3. BOONE JENNER (CBJ)
Jenner has been playing very well of late and he was a source of energy tonight. He played 15:32 tonight and fired four shots on goal.
AT MONTREAL CANADIENS
THURSDAY, 7:30 P.M.