From an entertainment perspective, this one was a dud. The game was chock full of mistakes, especially so for the Jackets in the second period. The middle frame saw the Jackets turn the puck over at an alarming rate, yet they were able to answer both times when the Hurricanes found the back of the net in regulation, and thanks to a brain fart by Jiri Tlusty in overtime Ryan Johansen was able to give his team a crucial victory with a powerplay goal, his 30th of the season.
With the Jackets playing last night, the 'Canes game plan was to come out hard against the Jackets, and they did just that. It was all Carolina to start the game, and this continued for a bulk of the opening period. Luckily for Columbus the 'Canes were unable to get many quality scoring chances while they were winning the possession game.
In a move that perhaps should have been made much earlier, Nathan Horton was moved to the Artem Anisimov line, opposite of Nick Foligno. With the healthy scratch of R.J. Umberger, Corey Tropp took Horton's spot on Johansen's right side.
Horton was very engaged this evening. He was winning multiple board battles, with two consecutive victories along the boards in the first period. The combination of he and Anisimov looked promising.
The Jackets' best scoring chance in the opening period came when Mark Letestu and Blake Comeau skated in on a two-on-one against Carolina starter Anton Khudobin. Letestu feathered a perfect saucer pass cross-crease, but Comeau's subsequent shot was handled perfectly by the Hurricanes' goaltender.
The second period for the Jackets can be definded by their propensity to turn the puck over. The coaching staff must not have been pleased. Aside from a Derek MacKenzie opportunity midway through the period, the Jackets were unable to create anything offensively, and were instead dealing with the ramifications of turning the puck over, missing passes (leading to far too many icing calls) and failing to execute the easy play.
It finally bit them with 3:31 left in the second. With a mess in front of Columbus goaltender Curtis McElhinney, Elias Lindholm was able to find Jeff Skinner's stick, where he wired the puck in the net to give the 'Canes the lead.
1-0 Hurricanes: Skinner - Lindholm, Nash
The Jackets were able to answer in short order. With 1:14 left, after a Carolina turnover in their end, the puck ended up on the stick of Matt Calvert in the slot. He made no mistake in wiring home the tieing goal.
1-1: Calvert - Unassisted
The first two periods saw neither team take a penalty, but just 1:04 into the third period, Boone Jenner was whistled for interference. This was the first of three third period powerplays for the 'Canes.
The second Columbus minor was a Corey Tropp tripping call. After some very good movement while up a man, Andrei Loktionov was left alone at the left dot, and after receiving a pass was able to snipe a shot past McElhinney.
2-1 Hurricanes: Loktionov - Nash, Harrison
As they did with the first Carolina goal, the Jackets were able to quickly respond. Just 50 seconds later, after another good effort by Horton along the boards, he backhanded a pass toward the front of the net, where Anisimov was there to use his own backhand to beat Khudobin.The goal was Arty's 20th of the season.
2-2: Anisimov - Horton, Foligno
The teams played four-on-four in the latter stages of the period when Pat Dwyer and Black Comeau were in the box with matching roughing minors, but neither team could break the deadlock. Off to free hockey!
The overtime period saw back-and-forth action, until the game-changing moment when Brandon Dubinsky wired the puck off the post. After doing so, Tlusty covered the puck with his hand, with the referee in full view. He received a minor for this action, and while up a man, the Jacket's best foward hit a huge milestone.
Johansen received a backhand pass from Anisimov, firing it into the net, giving his team a HUGE two points. It was his 30th of the year, joining just Geoff Sanderson and Rick Nash as CBJ players to score 30 goals in a season.
3-2 Jackets: Johansen - Anisimov, Wisniewski
FINAL SCORE: 3-2 JACKETS
For the advanced stats for this game, check out Extra Skater's coverage of this game.
- Johansen's 30th goal of the year couldn't have come at a more clutch moment. HUGE.
- Congrats to Arty for potting his 20th, and setting up the winning goal.
- I thought Horton looked good with Arty and Foligno. The line was hard to beat along the boards and down low.
- McElhinney was sharp, when tested. Props. Where's his trout mask though? I liked it.
- Manny Malhotra, because Manny.
Bottom of the Barrel:
- The turnovers, which were especially bad in the second period, are a cause for concern. Against the 'Canes? Yeah, they can survive. In the playoffs? That kind of sloppy play leads to blow outs and embarrassment.
- I just don't see Tropp as a fit on Johansen's right side. Put Umby there.
The Jackets' next game is on Tuesday, where they are at home against the Avalanche.