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Recap: Canes Hold Off Blue Jackets

Staal leads the way offensively with three points (1g, 2a)

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes /

COLUMBUS - The Carolina Hurricanes scored a touchdown's worth of goals in a 6-5 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday afternoon.

Jordan Staal led the way offensively with a goal and two assists. The captain was one of 11 Canes skaters to record at least a point in a back-and-forth battle.


Summing It Up

The Hurricanes and Blue Jackets play a similar style of hockey, and games are often low-scoring and grinding. But, in a weird, unique season, go figure that the first meeting between the two Metropolitan Division rivals turned Central Division foes was a weird, unique game.

There was no shortage of drama. There was a "fight." There were comebacks. There was a goal review kerfuffle. There was a rescinded power play. There were goals off sticks and gloves.

But, in the end, it's only the result that matters, and the Canes, through it all, competed and battled and walked away with two points.

"It was kind of a roller-coaster game," Brett Pesce said. "We knew they were going to be battle hard. We had to be dialed in for 60 minutes, and I thought we did a great job of just sticking with our game plan and not taking the foot off the gas."

"It was just one of those weird ones that turned out that way," Ryan Dzingel said. "It was good to get it done, be gritty, find a way to capitalize and finish."

Key to Victory

Even though the Canes fell behind three times, they were able to respond with a goal in each instance, one answer coming within 25 seconds of the Blue Jackets' tally.

"I liked how we just kept coming back," head coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "I felt like we didn't stop playing. It was always, 'Don't worry about it, let's get the next one.' That next shift mentality. I thought our compete was high. We're still making some mistakes and a couple bad reads with guys behind us, but I thought we grinded it out and dug in. That's what you have to do."

Patrik Laine opened the scoring just past the midway point of the first period with a bomb of a one-timer from the top of the left circle on the power play. It took the Canes just 25 seconds to answer with a tic-tac-goal passing play. Andrei Svechnikov used a sweep check to force a turnover from Vladislav Gavrikov. Svechnikov dished to Sebastian Aho, who slid to over to Brock McGinn for the tap-in.

Video: CAR@CBJ: McGinn finishes off the feed from Aho

Riley Nash got a stick on Nick Foligno's shot with less than five minutes to play in the first to give Columbus a 2-1 lead heading into the first intermission, but the Canes answered back in the first 10 minutes of the second. Jordan Staal centered the puck to Warren Foegele, who smacked in his own rebound off Michael Del Zotto.

"He gives you what he can every night," Brind'Amour said of Staal. "You know what you're getting. There's no real drop-off with this guy. That's what makes him a captain."

Video: CAR@CBJ: Foegele jams home own rebound

About seven minutes later, the Blue Jackets again took the lead when Nick Foligno wristed in his 200th career goal on a 2-on-1 rush.

And again, the Canes answered back. Two minutes later, Jordan Martinook hounded the puck down low to feed it up to Pesce at the point. Pesce's shot beat Joonas Korpisalo through traffic to tie the game at three.

Video: CAR@CBJ: Pesce's point shot finds the back of the net

"I think we've been doing a good job getting pucks to the net. They just haven't really gone in," Pesce said. "It's nice to have a few goals now. It was bound to happen."

Weird Thing of the Afternoon

After playing catch-up all afternoon, the Canes finally were able to play with their first lead of the game late in the second period when Vincent Trocheck chipped in backhander on a rebound off a point shot from Pesce.

Video: CAR@CBJ: Trocheck sweeps up rebound down low

Columbus challenged for an offside zone entry, but the officials ruled that the goal stood. Here's the thing, though: The Canes were indeed offside, but apparently there was miscommunication between the Columbus video replay booth, the linesmen and the situation room, and "play resumed before all replays could be reviewed." The wrong call was made, the goal stood, and Columbus was assessed a delay of game penalty.

During the intermission, the mistake was discovered. The solution at the beginning of the third period was to wipe out the remaining 45 seconds of the Canes' power play, but the goal remained on the board. 


"I'm still confused," Brind'Amour said. "I don't really understand it. I'm glad it worked for us."

Stats Pack

9: In their ninth game of the season, the Canes' defense got on the board not just once but twice. Pesce takes the honor for the first defenseman to score a goal for the Canes this season, while Dougie Hamilton added another - a floater that deflected off the reaching glove of David Savard - in the third period, what ended up being the game-winning goal.

Video: CAR@CBJ: Hamilton scores goal off fortuitous bounce

21: Hamilton's game-winning tally was his first of the season and 21st of his career. He's totaled six game-winning goals in 138 games with the Canes.

9: In six games since returning to the lineup, Staal has recorded nine points (2g, 7a). His redirection of Hamilton's point shot in the third period was his second power-play marker of the season.

Video: CAR@CBJ: Staal nets deflection for PPG

Ouch of the Afternoon

Trocheck took a puck right off the face in the first period, but he returned to game action a short time later. Hockey player.

Tweet from @MSmithCanes: Yikes. Vincent Trocheck takes a puck straight to the face and heads off for repairs.

Quote of the Afternoon

"It's 2021. Anything is possible these days. We're not even shocked anymore, to be honest." - Ryan Dzingel on the challenge kerfuffle

Up Next

Same place, different time on Monday, as the Canes and Jackets round out their back-to-back with a 7 p.m. Monday faceoff. This one might be a little closer checking.

"They compete and play a tight system," Pesce said. "It's going to be a battle for seven games, and we've got to bring our A-game."

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