Atkinson’s OT goal lifts Blue Jackets over Hurricanes

Blue Jackets forward Cam Atkinson, right, scores the game-winning goal past Hurricanes goalie Petr Mrazek after a pass from forward Pierre-Luc Dubois during overtime Thursday in Columbus. (Paul Vernon / AP Photo)

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Columbus Blue Jackets are getting the hang of this overtime thing.

The Jackets rallied to force overtime and won their second straight game in extra time on Thursday night, beating the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3.

It was the fourth consecutive OT game overall for Columbus, which extended its point streak to a half-dozen games. The Blue Jackets are 4-0-2 since a 2-1 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Oct. 11.

Cam Atkinson scored the game-winner 3:28 into overtime, tapping in a perfect pass from Pierre-Luc Dubois .

“We’re in every game,” Atkinson said. “We’re getting points every game. Whether we get one or two, these points are crucial come April time. We’ve been playing the right way since the beginning of the season. And we’re getting goals by committee, which we’re going to need this year, and everyone is contributing.”

The Blue Jackets, after going down 3-1, got goals from Ryan Murray and Sonny Milano in the second period to tie the score. Joonas Korpisalo stopped 21 shots, and defenseman David Savard had two assists.

“We came out really good in the second period,” Savard said. “Took the game over. We created a ton of chances and woke the crowd up. It was real quiet to start with, but once they got some energy going, we got some energy.”

Dougie Hamilton, Ryan Dzingel and Sebastian Aho scored, and Petr Mrazek had 27 saves for Carolina, which has lost three straight.

“Give them credit, they played a real strong second period,” Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “We were just not sharp. We kind of battled back in the third, made it look like a game. Certainly not good enough.”

Alexandre Texier gave the Blue Jackets a good start. The rookie got his second goal of the year 3:21 into the game when he rocketed in a slap shot from the right circle off a cross-ice pass from Emil Bemstrom.

Columbus’ momentum disappeared 72 seconds later when Hamilton beat Korpisalo to make it 1-1.

The Hurricanes got two quick ones later in the first period. Dzingel toe-dragged around a sliding defender and flipped in a shot in close in a series that started when Murray broke his stick trying to clear the puck. Then, 51 seconds later, after Milano stepped on the puck and caused a turnover, Aho redirected Brett Pesce’s shot for a 3-1 Carolina lead.

“We had a great first period,” Dzingel said. “We were buzzing, playing our kind of hockey, and in the second period we were on heels and that’s what killed us.”

Both Murray and Milano would get redemption.

Murray snapped a shot past Mrazek’s glove to make it a one-goal game again with 7:03 left in the second period. It was Murray’s first tally in 50 games dating to last season. Milano got a pretty goal when he took a bank pass from David Savard, drove in and backhanded the puck over Mrazek’s pad to tie it late in the second. Neither team could score in the third, setting up Atkinson’s overtime heroics.

“It’s 10 games — I don’t know who the hell we are,” Columbus coach John Tortorella said. “I like this team. I like the enthusiasm they bring. They’ve got to keep working at it so it becomes who we are, it becomes second nature.”

NOTES: Columbus captain Nick Foligno played his 500th game with the team….Blue Jackets D Scott Harrington replaced Markus Nutivaara, who was injured in Monday night’s game. … Dzingel played at Columbus for the first time since leaving the Blue Jackets and signing with the Hurricanes last summer. … Columbus outshot Carolina 15-3 in the second period. … Dubois has six points in his past eight games. …Columbus has played eight straight one-goal games.

Up Next

Hurricanes: Host Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday afternoon.

Blue Jackets: At Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night.