1. One That Got Away
The Hurricanes came out in the first period with a rock solid 20 minutes, a statement first period after their five-day layover.
In the second period, Columbus bullied their way back into the game, and from there, it was a toss-up as to who would snag the two points.
"We had a great start, a good first period. I think, again, we thought it was going to be easy," Jordan Staal said. "We need everyone to buy in and believe in the way we want to play."
"We had a great first period. We were buzzing, playing our kind of hockey," Ryan Dzingel said. "In the second period, we were on our heels, and that's what killed us. It's hard to try to backtrack from that. It was a bad second period."
The Canes netted three straight goals to take a 3-1 lead into the first intermission, but the Blue Jackets then answered back with three unanswered goals in the final 40 minutes and change.
"We came out and played hard at the start. We just fell right off in the second, for whatever reason," head coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "Give them credit. They played a strong second period, but for me, we just were not sharp, and then it looks like that, unfortunately."
2. A Lull
From the drop of the puck, the Hurricanes were the better team in the first period. An unfortunate break on a 4-on-1 rush put them in an early 1-0 hole, but they didn't let that stall what they were building.
They promptly answered back and added another pair of goals to establish a two-goal lead.
Columbus, though, appeared re-energized by the first intermission, and the Canes couldn't stave off the pressure they mounted in the second period.
Ryan Murray pulled the Blue Jackets within one, a goal that you felt was bubbling given the pressure Columbus was bringing. Brind'Amour, sensing the momentum shift, spent his timeout in an attempt to right the ship. The Blue Jackets kept coming, though, and Sonny Milano tied the game on a backhander that slipped through Petr Mrazek's glove arm.
"We had a good first. Beyond that, it slipped away from us. Our game slipped away, and the things we started to do just made it hard,' Staal said. "We were getting too cute, and we weren't willing to wait for that moment or chance to get it in behind them. Instead, we were trying to make something out of nothing."
A lull, and a brand-new hockey game heading into the final period of regulation.
"They were good. They did what they do," Brind'Amour said. "They played hard and adopted a lot of things we try to do. They did it much better than we did, especially in the second period. That's what got them back in the game."
"That's a team that plays the way we do. Tight gaps. D are always jumping in the play and down the wall. Good forechecking team. All things we want to do," Staal said. "For two games now, they've done it better than us. It's frustrating and not good enough."
3. Dougie Going Ham
Columbus, the beneficiaries of a 4-on-1 rush, struck first in the game on a goal from Alexandre Texier.
Just 71 seconds later, the Hurricanes answered to tie the game. And, who else? Dougie Hamilton, of course.
As the Canes worked the puck up the near wall in their own zone, Hamilton, always one to have an eye to join the rush, spotted just that opportunity. Warren Foegele tracked down the puck at the opposite blue line and laid it off for Hamilton, who had room to split the defense and fire off a wrist shot that beat Joonas Korpisalo.
Video: CAR@CBJ: Hamilton joins rush, fires home wrist shot
The goal was Hamilton's sixth of the season, a league-leading mark amongst defenseman. Hamilton is the first NHL defenseman to score six or more goals in October since Sheldon Souray did so in 2006-07, and he's just the sixth NHL defenseman in the last 30 seasons to score at least six goals in his team's first 10 games. In total, Hamilton has amassed 11 points (6g, 5a) in the first 10 games of the season.
4. That One Felt Good
Ryan Dzingel isn't a stranger in Columbus.
The former Ohio State Buckeye played in 21 regular-season games and 15 playoff games last season with the Blue Jackets after being dealt from Ottawa at the trade deadline. Things didn't quite pan out in Columbus, and the unrestricted free agent forward inked a two-year contract with the Canes over the summer.
So, when Dzingel dangled and scored a goal to give the Hurricanes a 2-1 lead in the first period, you know it felt good - and that much was evident in his emphatic celebration - a leg lift, a first pump and a woo.
Video: CAR@CBJ: Dzingel takes advantage of fortunate break
"It obviously did [feel good]," he said after the game.
The goal was the result of misfortune for the Blue Jackets turned into fortune and a skilled play and finish for the Canes. Ryan Murray backtracked with the puck in his own zone, but as he attempted an outlet pass, his stick betrayed him and snapped in two. Martin Necas was there to scoop up the gifted puck and dangled to the front of the net. There, Necas got Korpisalo moving laterally and laid the puck off on his backhand for Dzingel, who toe dragged his way through a diving Murray before burying a shot through chaos - a couple of Blue Jackets defenders, Erik Haula and Korpisalo, who was sprawled out in desperation - in the crease.
5. That One Felt Good, Too
Sebastian Aho scored two goals in his first nine games, but both were empty netters. Though they all count the same in the "G" column, Aho was still pressing to get a puck past a goalie for the first time this season.
Just 49 seconds after Dzingel gave his new team the lead, Aho set up shop in front of the net and redirected Brett Pesce's point shot past Korpisalo. Aho lifted his right leg and pumped his right fist.
Video: CAR@CBJ: Aho redirects puck past Korpisalo
"We've got to get a few guys playing better, and it's not about the points for me," Brind'Amour said. "It's the process. Tonight, we certainly didn't look like the team we're trying to be. That's a little bit worrisome, but we'll come out tomorrow and try to get better."
The Hurricanes host the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday in a 1 p.m. matinee.
"We've got to get dialed in a little better and … we're certainly never going to be the team we want to be if we have 15 guys playing or even if we have 18," Brind'Amour said. "We need all 20 guys to be digging in, and there are a few guys that aren't quite there yet. We've got to get them up to speed."