The Hurricanes continued to be effective on the power play and earned a point by reaching overtime, but Columbus defenseman Seth Jones’ second goal of the game, with 51 seconds left in OT, gave the Blue Jackets a 3-2 win Thursday at PNC Arena.
Sebastian Aho scored both of Carolina’s goals, and Alex Nedeljkovic made 25 saves but was handed his first loss since Feb. 24.
1. The Hurricanes looked like a team that had a rough trip back home from the Motor City — and they did. The team was stuck on the tarmac in Detroit on Tuesday night and then had to detour to Greensboro, where they arrived in the wee hours of Wednesday morning. A brief stay in a hotel and a bus ride later, they were back in Raleigh.
But the Hurricanes didn’t look like they showed up at PNC Arena until the second period.
Columbus outshot Carolina 14-7 and led by a goal after one.
“The first period was really bad, which I somewhat expected to happen, to be honest with you, just the way our last couple of days have been,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said.
2. The Hurricanes kept up their torrid pace with the man advantage, scoring on 1-of-3 chances to remain the league’s top power play.
Aho got his second goal of the game on Carolina’s third power play of the game. The Hurricanes controlled the zone for more than a minute, wearing down the Blue Jackets’ penalty killers. Aho settled into the middle of Columbus’ quartet of killers and one-timed a pass from Martin Necas to give Carolina its only lead of the game.
“We won a lot of pucks back on that power play,” Aho said. “They were gassed, and Necas made a nice play in the slot and I just one-timed it, and it was nice to see it (go) in.”
3. It was the first of four straight against the Blue Jackets, the second time this season Carolina will have four consecutive games against an opponent. The other time was against the Lightning from Feb. 20-25, and the Hurricanes won the first game but then lost the final three. The Hurricanes and Blue Jackets play again in Raleigh on Saturday, then play in Columbus next Monday and Thursday.
Brind’Amour said before Thursday’s game that while the results weren’t there against Tampa Bay, he was satisfied with how the team played — and that’s what he hopes for against Columbus during the next week.
“I thought we were really good in those games, so sometimes you get caught up in the results,” Brind’Amour said. “It’s really the process there. I thought if we can play these guys tough four times and hopefully we’ll have the results.”
The coach got two periods and an overtime of decent play out of his team Thursday and managed a point. Carolina will need to be better to win this extended home-and-home series.
Number To Know
400 — Career games for Jordan Martinook. The forward played 247 games with the Coyotes before his trade to Carolina, where he has now played 153.
They Said It
“I think he understands what he has to do as a leader on this team, and he’s done that.”
— Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour on Sebastian Aho
Sebastian Aho, Hurricanes center — Carolina needed someone to jump-start the team after a lackluster first period, and Aho did it. First, he scored just 51 seconds in the second period with a one-timer off a Nino Niederreiter pass to tie the game. Then at 12:20 of the period, Aho scored his power play goal to give the Hurricanes a 2-1 lead.
“Both goals were nice passes from my linemates,” Aho said.
Aho now has 13 goals, tying him with Niederreiter and the injured Vincent Trocheck for the most on the Hurricanes. Carolina is the only team in the league with three players with 13 or more goals.
Warren Foegele, Hurricanes forward — Foegele was robbed of a goal by Columbus goalie Joonas Korpisalo (25 saves) with just over seven minutes left in the second period and Carolina up 2-1. Instead of a 3-1 lead, the Hurricanes found themselves tied after two.
Then in overtime, Foegele saw his first action of the year at 3-on-3 — and got caught on the Blue Jackets’ winning goal.
After Andrei Svechnikov’s shot from the slot was saved, Foegele over-committed in pressuring Oliver Bjorkstrand and left Dougie Hamilton alone to defend a 2-on-1 rush, and Jones scored his second goal of the night to win it for Columbus.