Coming into the second half of a back-to-back on the road against an undefeated club didn't have the makings of a victory for the Columbus Blue Jackets. Thankfully, they didn't care about the context.
Columbus (2-3-0) handed the Carolina Hurricanes (5-1-0) their first loss of the young season, which simultaneously gave the Blue Jackets the first road victory of their campaign.
In both wins the Blue Jackets have earned this season, they have scored the opening goal of the game. Tonight, it was at the hand of Markus Nutivaara 10:17 into the first period who teamed up with Ryan Murray for a nifty backdoor goal.
Carolina responded just 27 seconds later to knot the game at one, pumping the breaks of any momentum the Blue Jackets were trying to grab in an away atmosphere. The score stayed 1-1 until the middle of the second period where Dougie Hamilton of the Hurricanes notched his fourth of the season. The home crowd was engaged, and the ice looked like it was beginning to tilt.
So of course, Oliver Bjorkstrand to the rescue. Known for his slow starts to the past few seasons, Bjorkstrand has been attempting to put that narrative to rest, scoring his second goal in three games to tie the score just 17 seconds later.
The rest of the second period remained a stalemate, and as the third period approached, it was a wonder if the next goal would be immediately responded by the other club.
It was Pierre-Luc Dubois scoring beautifully in two straight games to give the Blue Jackets the lead just three minutes into the final frame, and there was no response from the opposing team this time.
Columbus then barred down and held off a frenzy of a final few minutes from Carolina to preserve a (needed) victory, and earned themselves a nice few days off until their next contest.
There were no injuries to report from tonight's game. Josh Anderson remains on the injured reserve due to an upper-body injury.
The Blue Jackets are off until Wednesday night when they play host to the Dallas Stars at 7 p.m. at Nationwide Arena.
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