By Shane Darrow on March 18, 2014
It's not often that the final score of a game tells the complete opposite story of how it was played, but that's what happened on Tuesday night between the Columbus Blue Jackets and Carolina Hurricanes. The Blue Jackets outplayed the Hurricanes from start to finish, but just couldn't get the job done. Here are five reasons why the the Canes came out on top.
The Blue Jackets took five penalties against the Hurricanes, and every infraction was committed in the offensive zone. Offensive zone penalties usually mean one of two things happened: The player who committed the penalty wasn't moving their feet, or they took a penalty out of frustration after being stopped on a scoring chance. The Hurricanes only had one power play goal, but it made the game 2-0 and marked a huge shift in momentum.
When Sergei Bobrovsky had to make a save, and he only faced 20 of them, he was shaky and never looked comfortable in between the pipes. The dagger in the heart was the Hurricanes' third goal, which was a slap shot from the top of the circle by Patrick Dwyer that beat Bobrovsky short side. There was no screen and his angle was way off; Bobby makes that save at least nine times out of ten.
In the first period alone, the Blue Jackets attempted 22 shots, but only 11 made its way on net. The Blue Jackets dominated puck possession for most of the game, and they ended up with 47 shots on net, but the Hurricanes' ability to block shots and the Jackets' inability to convert on their chances was a huge difference in this game.
The Blue Jackets had three power plays of their own, but only managed one shot on goal and even took a penalty of their own with the man advantage. Considering Carolina's penalty kill is ranked 18th-best in the league, you have to think that head coach Todd Richards would have wanted a better showing on the power play. A goal on special teams could have really changed the flow of the game and the eventual outcome.
There's absolutely no doubt that Anton Khudobin was the difference. He was outstanding from start to finish and ended up with 47 saves, which included 18 in the third period when the Blue Jackets really had their foot on the pedal. He deserved a shutout, but a deflection in front by Bruce Jenner with just over a minute left ended any hope for one. On Tuesday night, Khudobin stole a victory away from the Blue Jackets.
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