Rupp Scores His First As A Jacket; CBJ Drops Road Game, 2-1
Carolina 2, Columbus 1
Cory Stillman originally was credited with giving Carolina a 1-0 lead in the second period before it was changed, allowing Brind'Amour to get his first multi-goal game in two months. He scored his second with a brilliant effort after digging the puck out of the corner from his knees, then getting to his feet to take a pass from Aaron Ward behind the net.
His wraparound beat Pascal Leclaire to secure the win for the Hurricanes. They beat Chicago 5-3 on Tuesday night and added this one for their first winning streak at the RBC Center since completing a seven-game run to open the season with a victory over the Florida Panthers on Nov. 5.
Carolina lost four of six at home before a six-game road trip that ended last weekend. The Hurricanes started their longest homestand in fine fashion.
Mike Rupp scored his first goal of the season for the Blue Jackets to cut the deficit in half early in the final period, but the Hurricanes held on behind Gerber, who has solidified his spot at the top of the depth chart with five consecutive solid starts.
He pulled a muscle in his hip in the opener and split time early on with rookie Cam Ward, but Carolina sent Ward to Lowell of the AHL for what was termed a conditioning stint. Gerber has essentially kept him off the ice.
Brind'Amour's first goal came on a 5-on-3 advantage when Cale Hulse (roughing) and Dan Fritsche (tripping) were called for penalties seconds apart deep in their own end. Stillman took a pass from Whitney and sent a one-timer toward the net, and Brind'Amour apparently deflected it past Leclaire.
The Hurricanes survived their own two-man disadvantage near the end of the first period, with Erik Cole and Whitney in the penalty box. Columbus couldn't solve Gerber and the Carolina defense, with Brind'Amour leading the charge.
It was the third loss in four games for the Blue Jackets.
Notes: Before the game, the Blue Jackets sent G Martin Prusek to Syracuse of the AHL. He was 3-3 with a 3.22 goals-against average in nine games with Columbus. ... Carolina C Eric Staal was held without a point for the second straight game, the first time that's happened this season.