The Jackets are hurting, but a greater effort from the healthy members of the roster was required to avoid a seventh straight loss. The team has been listless of late, almost as though they were in a holding pattern while they waited for the injured players to return. Nick Foligno promised a better effort, but it didn't happen. The play was tentative, disjointed, and sloppy. The result was an overtime loss to Carolina.
The Jackets were sloppy to start the game, failing to complete passes, losing board battles, and generally looking like the inferior squad. At the eight-ish minute mark, the 'Canes were awarded their first powerplay of the game. After a scramble in front of the Columbus net, with the puck under Jackets' starter Curtis McElhinney, the 'Canes appeared to have opened the scoring. The puck was in the net, and the referee behind the net signaled goal, but after a meeting between the officials, it was determined that McElhinney was not offered the opportunity to stop the puck- no goal.
The Jackets had a pair of powerplays themselves in the opening frame, but couldn't convert on either. The second powerplay was especially ugly, with players getting in each other's way and the team failing to set up in the offensive zone. Outside of a great effort by Nick Foligno to keep the puck in the zone, it was just plain ugly.
Foligno is a player who's been talked about a lot here this season at The Cannon, and tonight was another game where he put it all on the line to push his teammates. It's a shame his efforts aren't leading to victories.
Say what you want about Dalton Prout, I still have support for the guy. When he's at his best, he's clearing the front of the net, dishing out big hits, and launching the occasional bomb from the point. He does have a penchant for turnovers however, and he made a big one early in the second. The puck was loose to the right of the net, and Prout went to clear the puck. He was unable to get his backhand clear off before Jeff Skinner stole the puck and moved to the front of the net, pulling off a deke before beating McElhinney.
1-0 Hurricanes: Jeff Skinner - Unassisted
Give Prout full credit, after the turnover for the first goal he went on to have a pretty solid game. He was blocking shots and breaking up offensive chances. He's an NHL shutdown defenseman, who with experience will reduce his number of errors.
The Jackets were shorthanded three times in the second period, and though they managed to kill all three, the team simply cannot continue to be penalized so often. With the team missing so many key regulars, five-on-five play is key to their success.
Midway through the period after some excellent forechecking by Boone Jenner, the sophomore found new linemate Scott Hartnell in front of the net with a pass from behind the goal lone. Hartnell's one-time snap beat Carolina starter Cam Ward, tieing the game.
1-1: Scott Hartnell - Boone Jenner, Frederic St. Denis
The assist for St. Denis was his first point as a Blue Jacket. I've been impressed with his play since his call up, he's one of those defensemen where if you don't notice him, he must be doing his job.
The trio of Hartnell, Jenner and Cam Atkinson was one of the few bright spots tonight. They continued to produce late in the second, when after Boone carried the puck down the right wing, he cut to the net with Ward making the initial save. Hartnell was there to bang in the rebound for his second goal of the game.
2-1 Jackets: Scott Hartnell - Boone Jenner, Cam Atkinson
The Jackets continued their undisciplined play in the final period, taking another three penalties. Their possession numbers dropped off significantly in the final frame, and Carolina took over. It was only a matter of time before the `Canes were able to beat McElhinney, doing so midway off the stick of Victor Rask. It was a hell of a shot that made its way through bodies and into the Columbus net.
2-2: Victor Rask - Nathan Gerbe, Alexander Semin
The third period was a sloppy, penalty-filled mess for the Jackets. Outside of the occasional play, the Hurricanes showed more desire.
After the dry scrape, the Jackets took to the ice for their first overtime game. Carolina tried the stretch pass twice, both times connecting with a forward torpedoing in on McElhinney. The second time however, David Savard was called for a cheesy holding penalty, giving the `Canes the dreaded OT PP.
After a bad line change while down a man in OT, Elias Lindholm carried the puck in on a two-on-one, kept, shot and scored.
3-2 Hurricanes: Elias Lindholm - Eric Staal, Victor Rask
FINAL SCORE: 3-2 Hurricanes (OT)
Click here for the advanced stats for this game.
- The duo of Scott Hartnell and Boone Jenner seemed to click tonight, with 43 potting a pair of goals.
- I suppose the PK should get some credit for killing seven regulation time penalties.
- The Jackets are spending way too much time shorthanded. Though the PK has been effective, being down a man has prevented them from establishing anything offensively.
- The ice in Carolina tonight seemed poor, as evident by how often the puck was bouncing around.
- There was no total team effort tonight. The team can`t coast while they wait to get healthy.