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Recap: Canes Fall to Blue Jackets in Shootout

Darling makes 36 saves in 3-2 shootout loss

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes / CarolinaHurricanes.com

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Carolina Hurricanes erased a one-goal deficit in the third period to force extra hockey and skate away with a point in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Noah Hanifin and Brock McGinn scored in regulation for the Hurricanes, but the Blue Jackets scored two goals in the shootout to earn the extra point.

Here are five takeaways from tonight's game.

One

The Hurricanes had an opportunity tonight to jump on a team that played a game the night prior in Montreal and didn't arrive back in Columbus until the wee hours of the morning.

For whatever reason, that didn't happen, and the Hurricanes struggled to get much of anything going through the first 40 minutes of the game.

"We weren't playing great in the first two. Darls did a great job just keeping us in that game. They had a long back-to-back and had more jump than us, which isn't right," Jordan Staal said. "We had to give our head a shake a little bit going into the third, and I thought we played a little better. We were fortunate enough to get a goal and tie it up. It was a big point for us, but we're going to have to play better consistently if we want to win some games."

"Especially in the first, I don't think we were playing our game," Hanifin said. "We need to be a little bit harder and compete a little bit more."

"We never really got going at all here today," head coach Bill Peters said. "We'll have to try to figure out why that is."

Two

When the Hurricanes are on their game, they're holding onto the puck, rolling around in the offensive zone with it and making it hard on the opposing team. That would have worn down the Blue Jackets on the second half of their back-to-back.

"It was a pretty tight game," Staal said. "Tried to have some sustained offensive zone time, which we just did not do. To wear a team out on a back-to-back that's what you have to do, and we didn't do that tonight."

Considering the circumstances, it was somewhat of a missed opportunity not to jump on Columbus early and bury them.

"There was definitely an opportunity there," Staal said. "It's still a tough place to win, and that's a good team. We're a good team, too, and we have to find ways to get wins. Definitely wanted a better result tonight."

Three

Scott Darling was a big reason why the Hurricanes were able to hang around in tonight's game until they began to play with some pace and purpose.

Video: CAR@CBJ: Darling shuts down Atkinson's breakaway try

In the first period, Darling turned away Cam Atkinson on a breakaway and then bodied down a shot off the stick of Sonny Milano on a 2-on-1 rush. In the third, Darling was stung up high with a shot but remained in the game after being evaluated by head athletic trainer Doug Bennett.

"He was huge. We weren't too happy with the way we were playing early in the game, and he kept us in it," Hanifin said of his goaltender. "He's a huge reason why we snuck out with one point tonight."

"He gave us a chance to hang in there when we weren't very good early," Peters said.

Four

The Blue Jackets scored just 70 seconds into tonight's game, an easy tap-in goal for Josh Anderson. The Hurricanes were able to swing some momentum back their way when Hanifin scored his fourth goal of the season.

Jeff Skinner made a deft play in his own end to spring the 2-on-1 with Derek Ryan and Hanifin. Ryan fought off a stick check to slide the puck over to Hanifin, who finished nicely.

Video: CAR@CBJ: Hanifin buries Ryan's feed on odd-man rush

"It was a good play, but it's tough when you don't get the win," Hanifin said.

"It was a good response, for sure. He did a good job there," Peters said. "Doc made a good play, and Skinny made a good play in the D-zone to set those guys free on the 2-on-1, so that was big. It was huge at the time."

Hanifin leads Canes defensemen in scoring with 13 points (4g, 9a), and he's recorded four points (2g, 2a) in a three-game point streak.

"He's done a good job. He's doing what he needs to do as a young guy, getting better and better every year," Peters said. "That's encouraging to see."

Five

The Canes found themselves down a goal heading into the third period after Zach Werenski's goal in the second gave the home team a 2-1 advantage.

Looking for some life, the coaching staff juggled the lines and shortened the bench and put forth their best 20 minutes of the game. McGinn scored his first goal in eight games to draw the score even again about midway through the period. Josh Jooris made a nice outlet pass to Brett Pesce, as the Canes skated through the neutral zone 2-on-2. McGinn joined the rush and hammered home a shot from between the circles.

Video: CAR@CBJ: McGinn blasts slap shot for game-tying goal

"Ginner did a great job getting it off quick," Staal said. "It was a big goal for us."

"Brock had a big goal for us," Hanifin said. "I thought we had a better third period, but unfortunately we couldn't put one home to get the win."

"It was a huge goal that got us a point here on the road," Peters said. "The third period was our best period. It was a battle all night. We didn't execute very well. … The best part of our game was the third."

Up Next

The Hurricanes will spend an off day in Raleigh on Wednesday before flying out to New York in Thursday ahead of Friday's match-up with the Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

"We just need to look at what we didn't do well and what we did do well. We have an off day tomorrow, so we'll regroup and get ready to go," Hanifin said. "We weren't too happy with the last time we played them, so we have to fix that and get ready for another challenge."

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