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Hurricanes cap comeback against Blue Jackets

by Kurt Dusterberg

RALEIGH, N.C. -- For most young NHL players, there is a steep learning curve. Elias Lindholm, Carolina's 19-year-old forward, seems determined to make up some ground.

The second-year Swede scored a power-play goal with 37.8 seconds remaining in overtime to give the Carolina Hurricanes a come-from-behind 3-2 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets at PNC Arena on Friday.

It was Lindholm's third game-winning goal during the Hurricanes' four-game winning streak.

With Blue Jackets defenseman David Savard in the penalty box for holding, Lindholm snapped a shot past goaltender Curtis McElhinney from the right circle.

"I saw the D-man try to take the pass away so I just tried to shoot," said Lindholm, who needed stitches on his nose after a high stick in the first period. "I saw the five-hole open a little bit. It was good to see it go in."

Lindholm, selected in the first round (No. 5) of the 2013 NHL Draft, has started to deliver on his considerable promise. He has four goals and seven points in 12 games.

"To be honest, I saw it when he first came in (last season)," said Hurricanes captain Eric Staal, who drew the penalty in overtime and assisted on Lindholm's goal. "You can sense the mind, the way he thinks and how he plays. I remember coming in personally at that age, the strength, the speed (of the game). It takes some time to adjust. This year you're seeing the confidence grow. The plays are there. He's a fun guy to play with because he sees the ice really well."

Earning the overtime point was some consolation to Columbus after six consecutive regulation losses. Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards was unhappy with their effort in a 4-2 loss to Carolina on Tuesday in Columbus, and he wasn't using an injury-ravaged lineup as an excuse.

"This is the way we have to battle, this is the way we have to skate and compete," Richards said. "We have to eliminate the penalties though. You aren't going to find ways to win hockey games. [We need] more discipline there."

Columbus killed six penalties before Carolina scored the overtime game-winner.

"We were better, but we still have to get better," Richards said. "Tonight was good, but it wasn't good enough."

The Hurricanes (4-6-2) started slowly against the Blue Jackets (4-8-1), outshot 11-4 in the first period.

Carolina opened the scoring in the second period on an unassisted goal by Jeff Skinner. He stole the puck from Dalton Prout near the Columbus net and slipped across the top of the crease to score on a backhand at 2:43.

Columbus countered with two goals from Scott Hartnell. Boone Jenner stickhandled around Jay McClement and connected with Hartnell in the low slot at 11:15.

Hartnell scored again with 1:16 remaining in the period. Jenner powered past McClement and pushed a shot on net before Hartnell scored on the rebound to give Columbus a 2-1 lead. The play of Jenner, in his second game of the season after a preseason hand injury, and Hartnell left an impression on their coach.

"They're both big and physical," Richards said. "The two goals were guys driving the net and pucks popping out. Hartnell was in the right place at the right time. Jenner, you can see what he does. He gets a step on somebody and he will take it hard to the net."

Hurricanes rookie Victor Rask tied the game 2-2 at 11:51 of the third period when he stickhandled from the goal line to the top of the circle and fired a high shot that beat McElhinney.

"I just tried to keep the puck as long as I could and I tried to find a good scoring opportunity," said Rask, who scored his first goal in a win against the Los Angeles Kings last Saturday.

Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward was solid, stopping 29 shots to extend his winning streak to four games.

Carolina did not look as sharp as it did in the three previous victories. In the first six power plays, the Hurricanes generated 10 shots.

"I didn't like our emotional involvement in the game," Carolina coach Bill Peters said. "I didn't think we were as engaged in the game as we have been here in the past and it shows on the stat sheet. I know we had a lot of giveaways. We cranked it up a little in the third period and found a way."

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