Blue Jackets top Hurricanes 3-2 in OT
Ryan Johansen scored a power-play goal at 2:40 of overtime and the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 on Saturday night.
Artem Anisimov had a goal and an assist and Matt Calvert also scored to help the Blue Jackets earn an important two points in their push for the second playoff berth in club history and first since 2009.
Jeff Skinner and Andrei Loktionov scored and Riley Nash had two assists for the Hurricanes, who fell to 6-11 since the Olympic break.
Curtis McElhinney made 25 saves for Columbus in his second straight start in place of flu-stricken starter Sergei Bobrovsky.
Brandon Dubinsky rang the left post midway through the extra session for the Blue Jackets. Goalie Anton Khudobin couldn't cover the puck, but forward Jiri Tlusty did — drawing the Hurricanes' first penalty of the night at 1:54.
Johansen then ended it with a snap shot that trickled past Khudobin.
Khudobin stopped 29 shots in his second consecutive start for Carolina.
Loktionov put the Hurricanes up 2-1 when he took a feed from Nash in the circle and snapped the puck past McElhinney with 13:22 left.
But for the second time in the game, the Blue Jackets struck back quickly to tie it. This time it was Anisimov, who pushed the rebound of Nathan Horton's shot past Khudobin 50 seconds later.
These teams entered on opposite ends of the playoff spectrum, with the Blue Jackets taking the ice in a four-way tie for two Eastern Conference wild cards.
Carolina is mathematically alive for just its second postseason berth since winning the 2006 Stanley Cup, but the Hurricanes — who entered seven points behind that cluster of four teams — have a long way to go to catch up.
For much of this game, offensive chances were few for both teams.
Khudobin made the save of the night midway through the first period when he slid across the net to thwart Blake Comeau on a 2-on-1.
The scoring pace picked up near the end of the second: Skinner finally broke through for Carolina when he scored with 3:31 left in the second. He snatched the rebound of rookie Elias Lindholm's shot and chipped the puck over defenseman David Savard for his team-leading third goal this season against Columbus.
Calvert tied it with 1:14 left in the period when he snapped the puck past Khudobin after a takeaway — the first goal allowed by the Hurricanes goalie in a span of 121 minutes, 49 seconds.
NOTES: Calvert has goals in two straight games. ... Skinner has a four-game points streak and has four points in five games against the Blue Jackets this season.
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