RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Oliver Bjorkstrand scored in the fourth round of the shootout to give the Columbus Blue Jackets a 3-2 win over Carolina on Saturday night in a game in which the outcome appeared to be tilting in the Hurricanes’ favor in the waning minutes.
Bjorkstrand and Seth Jones scored third-period goals for the Blue Jackets, whose only lead in the game came on the last attempt in the shootout. Elvis Merzlikins stopped 35 shots for Columbus, which tied the game in the final minute of regulation.
The situation appeared dire for the Blue Jackets a few times.
“We were at the end of the vine a couple of times, and found a way,” coach John Tortorella said.
Carolina’s Dougie Hamilton began the shootout with a goal. With Columbus down to its last chance, Patrik Laine converted to extend.
The Hurricanes appeared to win in overtime on a Hamilton power-play tally with 2:46 remaining in the session. But that was wiped out on a review because of offsides.
“I was down the tunnel, almost to the (locker) room,” Jones said, figuring the game was over as he exited the penalty box. “Never happy to go in there (to the penalty box), but, yes, I was happy that we got a second crack at the penalty kill.”
Tortorella said there were anxious moments even though his staff had confirmed that Carolina had been offsides.
“The refs were leaving the building. They were going out the gate,” he said. “Everybody was leaving, including our players. … For a couple of seconds there, I thought we had lost the game.”
Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour made several mentions to “a weird ending” while praising his team’s determination.
Andrei Svechnikov and Warren Foegele scored in regulation for the Hurricanes, who dropped their third straight game following an eight-game winning streak. Goalie James Reimer made 29 saves.
Svechnikov was the offending player on the offsides in overtime.