Hockey / Sports

Carolina Hurricanes' Tuomo Ruutu (15) plays the puck against Columbus Blue Jackets' Brandon Dubinsky (17) during the second period at the PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C., on Monday, Jan. 27, 2014. (Chris Seward/Raleigh News & Observer/MCT)

Staal brothers rally Hurricanes to 3-2 win over Blue Jackets

RALEIGH, N.C. -- If it was a big game, as many were making it out to be, and the Carolina Hurricanes won it.

And won it in big-time fashion, with a gutsy third-period comeback.

The Hurricanes topped the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 Monday at PNC Arena in a key Metropolitan Division game, and did it behind the brothers Staal -- Eric and Jordan.

The Canes trailed 2-0 with nine minutes remaining in regulation and Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky was turning back every Canes shot.

Then, Eric Staal scored, beating Bobrovsky with a five-hole shot with 8:42 showing.

Then, Eric Staal scored again.

Exactly one minute later, Staal got off a shot from the slot that bounced off Bobrovsky's shoulder, tying the score 2-2.

Jordan Staal gave the Canes the lead with 5:55 left in the third. Carrying puck between the circles, he dodged a Jackets player and got off a backhander as he tumbled to the ice.

Just like that, it was 3-2 Canes. Carolina scored three goals in two minutes, 47 seconds.

Bobrovsky, who will play for the Russian Olympic team in the Winter Games next month in Sochi, shut out the Canes 3-0 on Jan. 10 in Columbus. He stopped Carolina's first 28 shots Monday before the Canes -- the Staal brothers -- solved the Russian riddle.

The first 10 minutes of the opening period belonged to the Jackets -- and were the Canes at their worst. The Jackets were quicker to the puck, stronger on the puck and more decisive with the puck. They also outworked and out skated the Canes.

MacKenzie, a fourth-line winger, scored his third goal in the past three games at 2:25 of the first after defenseman Fedor Tyutin had an attempt ricochet off the metal.

Seventeen seconds later, the Jackets made it 2-0. After a Canes turnover in the Carolina zone, Umberger took a pass from Ryan Johansen in the low slot and beat Canes goalie Anton Khudobin.

The Jackets continued to mount offensive pressure, forcing Khudobin into stops on good shots by Umberger and James Wisniewski as Columbus took a 7-1 shooting edge.

The Canes had the only power play of the first period, after Nathan Horton slashed Jeff Skinner, but managed just one shot. But a strong shift by the Canes' fourth line appeared to finally give them some energy in the final minutes of the first.

The Canes best scoring chance of the opening period came with 35 seconds left. Jordan Staal centered a pass from the left corner to defenseman Mike Komisarek crashing the net, forcing Bobrovsky to make the stop as Komisarek poked away at the puck.

Both the Canes and Jackets had seven shots in the opening period, and Carolina had a 17-8 edge in the second. The 17 shots matched Carolina's season high for a period.

In a power play late in the second, the Canes had seven shots. Skinner got off a couple, John-Michael Liles and Andrej Sekerea had shots from the point and Eric Staal was just wide of the post with a tip.

The Jackets' Nick Foligno had an open net with 12 minutes left in the second but hit the crossbar as he tried to lift the puck over Khudobin.

(c)2014 The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)

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Distributed by MCT Information Services



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