R. J. Umberger's third hat trick of his career threw cold water on the Carolina Hurricanes' playoff hopes on Friday night. Umberger powered the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 5-1 win over a Carolina team that entered the game with four straight wins worth of momentum.
Vinny Prospal started the scoring with a first period goal. Umberger scored his first goal of the evening on a power play nine minutes into the second period. It would stand as the game-winner. The Jackets' winger struck again about five minutes later with his second goal. He added his third almost 15 minutes into the final frame. Mark Letestu also scored for Columbus in the win.
Hurricanes' goalie Cam Ward stopped 21 of 26 shots on the evening, his first loss since March 13. Steve Mason kept busy, turning away 39 of 40 shots.
Columbus hosts Edmonton on Sunday afternoon.