COLUMBUS, Ohio — With Columbus slipping into a sudden offensive malaise in the second period, Sergei Bobrovsky kept the Blue Jackets in the game and in the race for a playoff spot.
The goalie played one his best games of the season, shutting down an unrelenting Carolina offensive attack in the second and allowing the Blue Jackets to hang on for a 3-0 win Friday night.
Bobrovsky stopped 22 shots in the second period on the way to a season-high 46 saves and his sixth shutout of the season. It also was the most saves in a shutout in franchise history.
"I felt good," said Bobrovsky, a former Vezina Trophy winner who will be an unrestricted free agent after the season. "I saw lots of pucks. A lot of the shots were from outside, and (it) allows me to get into my game, to control the game. I was able to control the rebounds and control the game."
Adam McQuaid and David Savard scored for the Blue Jackets in the first period, and Josh Anderson added a late short-handed, empty-net goal for the Blue Jackets, who pulled even with the Hurricanes for the two wild cards in the Eastern Conference. Both teams are four points behind third-place Pittsburgh in the Metropolitan Division.
Petr Mrazek, who had won his last six starts, didn't have a whole lot to do after the first period, especially in the second when Carolina kept the puck mostly in its offensive zone and Columbus mustered just two shots on goal. He finished with 17 saves.
McQuaid got his third goal of the year — his first since being acquired from the New York Rangers at the trade deadline — at 3:08 of the first period. His snap shot from the point sailed over Mrazek with Pierre-Luc Dubois providing the screen.
Another defenceman gave Columbus a two-goal lead a few minutes later when Savard got his first goal in 18 games, a shot from the top of the left circle off the faceoff.
Carolina pounded away with high-danger chances in the second period but couldn't beat Bobrovsky, who got some help from the posts on at least two shots.
"Once they gained momentum, we lost ourselves and Bob stood in there for us," Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said. "Huge to get out of there without a goal scored against us, mainly because of Bob."
The third period wasn't much better for the Blue Jackets offensively, but Anderson chipped in an empty-netter with 2:39 left. That came during a Carolina power-play and Mrazek out of the net to create a 6-on-4 situation.
"We've had our goalie steal some games for us, and their guy did it for them tonight," Carolina coach Rod Brind'Amour said.
Columbus has won two straight and four of the last six. Carolina, 7-2-2 in its last 10, had a two-game win streak snapped.
NOTES: Carolina F Micheal Ferland returned after missing the last two games with an upper-body injury. ... The teams finished their four-game season 2-2. ... Carolina will play seven games of its last 12 against Metropolitan Division teams. ... Columbus has killed 74 of the last 80 opposing power plays and has four short-handed goals in that stretch. ... KISS bassist Gene Simmons had a prime seat on the glass next to the Columbus bench. The band plays at the Nationwide Arena on Saturday.
Hurricanes: Host Buffalo on Saturday to kick off a five-game home stand.
Blue Jackets: Begins a four-game road trip at Boston on Saturday.
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