Tracking the Storm: Analysis from Columbus
-- After going winless in the city for 10 years, Carolina has now won three straight games in Columbus, and tonight the Canes snapped a two-game losing skid and repaid Columbus' come-from-behind win in Raleigh a week ago with a 3-2 victory at Nationwide Arena. Justin Faulk, Ron Hainsey and Brad Malone netted goals for Carolina, and Anton Khudobin earned his eighth win of the season in net.
"It was nice to be able to play them again in such a short time and come into their rink to get a win," Faulk said. "We played a full 60 minutes pretty much. We all contributed, and everyone played hard."
-- A back-and-forth second period proved to be the difference in tonight’s contest. Down 1-0 heading into the middle frame, the Hurricanes put a three-spot on the board to take a 3-2 lead into the second intermission.
"A little bit of a back-and-forth there, and it's nice to be on the good side of that going into the third," Faulk said.
"I thought we battled," John-Michael Liles said. "We got some timely goals."
Justin Faulk got the Canes on the board first with an absolute bomb from the point on the power play. It was Faulk’s 14th goal of the season and seventh on the power play. The 22-year-old is now just two goals shy of Anton Babchuk’s single-season Hurricanes record for goals scored by a defenseman (16).
"Faulker's power-play goal was a big one. We needed some momentum from the power play, and I thought we got it," Liles said. "They made some nice plays and set him up for a great one-timer goal."
"He's got a shot that's a weapon, and he's become more confident and comfortable bringing the puck up the ice," head coach Bill Peters said. "He's got a bright future."
The Canes took a 2-1 lead when Ron Hainsey leaned into a shot from the top of the far circle. It got through traffic in front and past Sergei Bobrovsky for Hainsey’s first goal since Dec. 23 at New Jersey.
About three minutes later, Marko Dano undressed Michal Jordan and fed Scott Hartnell for the easy tap in goal to again bring the game even.
"Everyone found a way to contribute to the win," Peters said.
-- Nick Foligno beat the buzzer for the Blue Jackets with just 0.6 seconds left in the first period to put Columbus on the board first, as he stuffed in the puck along the near side of the net on the power play.
"It's over and done with. It's unfortunate. No one really wants to give up a goal that late in the the period, especially on the penalty kill," Liles said. "But guys refocused and from there on out, I thought we were pretty strong on the penalty kill."
"The guys have been strong mentally all year, and they continued to show that here today," Peters said. "It's a little disappointing [to give up that goal], no doubt about that, but there's still 40 minutes of hockey left."
The Canes have now surrendered seven power-play goals in their last five games. It took 37 games prior for the Hurricanes to amass that total of power-play goals against. But though the team gave up one power-play goal, they did kill off three other penalties on the night.
-- Rasmus Rissanen suffered a lower-body injury in the second period, as his right leg awkwardly folded underneath him when he got tangled with Scott Hartnell along the near boards. He had to be helped off the ice and did not return.
We likely won’t have an idea of the severity of the injury until he undergoes further testing, but the injury is certainly tough to see for the 23-year-old blueliner who was playing in just his sixth career NHL game.
Faulk logged a game-high 29:57 of ice time after the team went down to five defensemen. That coming off a game played last night in which he played over 25 minutes.
"[I felt] all right. The long ones (shifts) a little bit," Faulk said. "There were a few long ones out there tonight that drain you a little bit."
"He's a kid, right? So you should be able to play a lot when you're at that age," Peters said. "Just the way it happened with the Rissanen injury. Guys had to step up."
Liles was another defenseman who stepped up when called upon, and he was rewarded with the fireman's helmet.
"I thought John-Michael Liles might have played his best game of the year," Peters said. "A very competitive game."
-- Anton Khudobin only saw 13 shots from Columbus in the first 40 minutes of the game, but he was especially sharp in the final period, stopping all 11 shots he faced to preserve the Canes’ win.
"They got a few chances in the third, and he was able to shut the door," Faulk said.
"He was really good in the third," Liles said. "You could see maybe the back-to-back starting to get to us in the third, especially going down to five D. But at the same time, it was a big team effort, and everybody did their part for sure."
"He had to make some saves, and he made some big saves," Peters said. "I liked his game."
-- Andrej Nestrasil posted his fourth multi-point game of the season, as he tallied two assists. He’s got nine points (2g, 7a) in his last nine games. He’s also a plus-6 in that stretch.
-- The Hurricanes now return to Raleigh to host the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night.