The Blue Jackets and Hurricanes played a Sunday afternoon affair in Nationwide Arena. The "tank off" featured two of the worst teams in the NHL as both teams are battling it out with Toronto for draft positions 4-6 currently.
The opening stanza was a bit sluggish, especially for the home team. In fact, the Blue Jackets mustered just six shots on net, but it was the last one that counted the most. On a power play opportunity, Ryan Johansen got the puck to Nick Foligno low on the left. In typical Foligno-fashion, Nick was on the doorstep, essentially on the goal line to Khudobin's left. He attempted a shot that got stopped, but slid the rebound home with a single second (or 0.6) remaining in the period. It wasn't a great opening period, but the CBJ had a one goal lead.
The Jackets put themselves behind the eight ball to start the 2nd period with back-to-back-to-back penalties. They managed to kill off the first two, but could not make it three in a row. Justin Faulk fired a slap shot from the blue line which beat Bob to make it 1-1. Less than two minutes later, former Blue Jacket Ron Hainsey let go a snap shot from the left half wall and suddenly the Hurricanes had a 2-1 lead.
Columbus struggled to get much on net again in the second period, registered just seven more shots. They did have a good stretch in the middle of the period and the goal was a thing of beauty. Coming out of the defensive zone, Scott Hartnell feathered a rink-wide pass through the neutral zone to Marko Dano streaking down the right side. Dano gathered the puck off the wall, kicked it to himself, and then went inside/outside on a Hurricanes defender (who fell over himself). Dano then rocketed a pass to the front off the net where Hartnell finished off the play slamming home the puck in the open net. Look for this one on highlight reels. It's probably up there for CBJ Goal of the Year.
As has often been the case this season, the Jackets gave up a quick response goal. The Hurricanes' Brad Malone was able to deflect a Brett Bellemore shot and Bobrovsky had no chance. Less than two minutes after tying the game, the Jackets faced a 3-2 deficit.
The Jackets were able to generate more offense in the third, but never could solve Khudobin. The Hurricanes missed some open net chances at the end, but did not find the back of the net. They were content to skate out with a 3-2 win.
FINAL: 3-2 CAR
What is it about Khudobin? The Jackets always seem to have trouble against this guy.
The tank got some help, not only because of the loss but because the team that won is behind the Jackets in the standings.
-Marko Dano. Wow. Just...wow. You can see the potential with this guy.
-Scott Hartnell has things rolling with a four-game goal streak (five goals). This 43-41-56 line...nice.
Bottom of the Barrel
-Ryan Johansen was 18 of 25 on faceoffs. The rest of the team? 5 of 23. Todd Richards even tried Dano and Foligno in the dot.
-Another rough second period.
-13 shots in the first 40 minutes.