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Carter helps Columbus show some life

Minnesota Wild v Columbus Blue Jackets

COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 29: Jeff Carter #7 of the Columbus Blue Jackets takes the ice for the pregame skate before the game against the Minnesota Wild on September 29, 2011 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus Ohio. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)

John Grieshop

For better or worse, the Columbus Blue Jackets stuck with the status quo despite a ridiculous amount of pressure to change. That hasn’t paid off much, but the team is showing some promise thanks to some expected players and a goalie who shouldn’t be a factor. Jeff Carter scored twice and Curtis Sanford allowed only one goal to give the Blue Jackets their first two-game winning streak since February 2010.

Carter now has three points in his last two games while Sanford earned both of those wins (and standings points in three straight starts, which is impressive for a team as unimpressive as Columbus). Better yet, the Blue Jackets are 3-1-1 in their last five, which is a nice enough streak that you can remove most of the “good for a team like Columbus ... " caveats.

And, hey, give Scott Howson credit for this much: Vinny Prospal is quietly one of the best free agent additions from the summer of 2011; he now has 18 points in 20 games.

This positive streak only places them at a league-worst 12 points, but this is generates sorely needed optimism. Check out the highlights below.