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Question of the Day
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - For more than 60 minutes, the Columbus Blue Jackets just couldn’t manage to give their power-play unit a chance.
Once they finally went up a man in overtime, Ryan Johansen made it count.
“I was talking to the ref, I was like, ‘Come on, we need a power play,’” Johansen said with a laugh. “We have confidence in our power play, so if we get opportunities, we feel we’re at least going to get a lot of momentum out of it and get some chances.”
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.
“We can pat ourselves on the back for this one, but starting (Sunday) and the day after, we’ve got to move on,” defenseman Dalton Prout said. “There’s still lots of work to be done, and for the most part, we control our own fate. It’s a good feeling.”
“We seem to be finding ways … to lose,” Carolina captain Eric Staal said. “It’s not like we’re completely out of it every night. We’re in the battle.
“For whatever reason, we can’t seem to get that one that falls for us and it goes the other direction,” Staal added. “Our compete, our work ethic, for the most part has been there. We’ve got guys that care. We’ve got guys that try. That’s not our problem.”
Curtis McElhinney made 25 saves for Columbus in his second straight start in place of flu-stricken starter Sergei Bobrovsky.
The decisive sequence started midway through OT when Brandon Dubinsky rang the left post. Goalie Anton Khudobin couldn’t cover the puck, but forward Jiri Tlusty did - drawing a delay of game penalty and giving the Blue Jackets their first power play of the night at 1:54.
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.
“We found a way to claw back,” Johansen said.
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