The word of the day is “discipline.”
For too much of tonight’s game in Raleigh, the Blue Jackets played a man short and gave the Carolina Hurricanes too many opportunities on the power play. Columbus led 2-1 after two periods and found the identity that served them so well a year ago, but again, they spent more than enough time in the penalty box and it came back to bite them.
They killed off six straight Carolina power plays in 60 minutes of regulation time (nearly one-fifth of the game spent shorthanded) but they made for a tall task with a David Savard holding penalty in overtime, thwarting a semi-break for Hurricanes captain Eric Staal.
While the call seemed suspect at best, as Savard has both hands on his stick when the call was made, it was yet another chance for Carolina and they capitalized.
Matt Calvert and Michael Chaput pursued the puck and got caught up-ice, and a quick lead pass gave the Hurricanes a 2-on-1 off the rush. Elias Lindholm looked to pass at first, but decided to shoot and found a hole glove-side on Curtis McElhinney to give Carolina the victory, its second over the Blue Jackets in four days.
“We can’t keep doing this to ourselves,” Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said of the penalty trouble. “It’s not a good recipe as far as winning hockey games.”
On the bright side, it was Scott Hartnell’s most noticeable game in a Blue Jackets sweater.
Playing left wing on a line centered by Boone Jenner, Hartnell scored twice in the second period to wipe out a goal by Jeff Skinner earlier in the frame. Both goals were born from hard work by Jenner, outworking the Hurricanes’ defense low in the offensive zone and getting to the front of the net.
On the first Hartnell goal, Jenner made a patient play at the side of the net and found Hartnell in the slot, and the ensuing wrister beat Cam Ward high-glove to tie the game. A few minutes later, Jenner got a step and drove outside toward the net, and Hartnell cleaned up a loose puck at the side of the net to give the Jackets their first lead.
In the third period, the Hurricanes came with a furious push and the Blue Jackets could not get out of danger. At the end of a long shift in the Columbus zone, Carolina rookie Victor Rask fired a rising shot from the right circle up and over McElhinney to make it 2-2.
Yes, the Blue Jackets picked up a point, but they dropped their seventh straight game in the process. They’ll have a chance to rebound on home ice Saturday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Blue Jackets did well to frustrate the Hurricanes with their forecheck early in the third period, but Carolina’s response midway through turned the game around. Rask made the Jackets pay after an extended shift, tying the game and bringing the crowd and the Carolina bench back into the game.
1 - Lindholm (CAR)
2 - Skinner (CAR)
3 - Ward (CBJ)
vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
Saturday, 7 p.m. ET