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Blue Jackets edge 'Canes to halt slide

Mar 13, 2011 - 7:06 AM
Raleigh, NC (Sports Network) - Derek MacKenzie scored twice and Steve Mason made 29 saves, as the Columbus Blue Jackets snapped a seven-game slide with a 3-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes.

Samuel Pahlsson also lit the lamp for the Blue Jackets, who hadn't won since February 25 against Phoenix.

Jeff Skinner tallied for Carolina and Tuomo Ruutu scored in the final minute of regulation to get the Hurricanes within one, but they couldn't pull even and lost for the fourth consecutive time.

Cam Ward allowed two goals on 27 shots.

"We're struggling to score some goals, we have been for a little bit, ever since [a 4-1 win against Pittsburgh on February 25]," said Carolina head coach Paul Maurice. "We've got guys that normally don't miss those, and we missed some dandies tonight. We just had too many good opportunities not to finish."

Trailing by a 2-1 score late in the third period, Carolina got a big opportunity when Columbus defenseman Fedor Tyutin was called for tripping with 3:08 to play.

It got an even greater chance with about two minutes left, when Jussi Jokinen had the puck near a wide-open net. However, Jokinen shot the puck wide of the left post and into Mason, who was sprawled out and scrambling to get back into position.

Columbus seemed to clinch the victory with 1:01 remaining, when MacKenzie fired a long shot into the empty Carolina net. But it turned out to be a necessary goal, as the Hurricanes pulled Ward again and cashed in on Ruutu's tally with 35 seconds on the clock.

Carolina pressed in the remaining time, trying to get the equalizer, but Columbus denied the Hurricanes a good look at the net in the final seconds.

"We get off to a real good start, getting a lead, and they were coming. We knew they were going to come," said Blue Jackets head coach Scott Arniel. "We weathered the storm, and [Mason] was outstanding."

Pahlsson's shorthanded goal 4:44 into the first period put the Blue Jackets on the board, and MacKenzie made it a 2-0 game only 42 seconds into the middle frame.

Ward got a clean look at MacKenzie's blast from the outer edge of the left circle, but couldn't grab the puck with his glove.

Skinner scored 9:16 into the third.

Game Notes

Columbus beat Carolina for the fourth consecutive time...The teams combined to go 0-for-14 on the power play. Carolina was 0-for-9, failing to score on 2:11 worth of 5-on-3 advantages.