Jeff Skinner's goal at 2:43 of the second period gave the Canes a 1-0 lead, but the Blue Jackets responded with a pair of scores by Scott Hartnell for a 2-1 lead.
Skinner swiped the puck from defenseman Dalton Prout in the low slot, went to his backhand and beat Columbus goalie Curtis McElhinney at 2:43. It was the second of the season for Skinner, who has been used on the fourth line the past two games.
Scott Hartnell soon tied it for the Jackets. After killing off a penalty, Columbus used strong forechecking to keep the puck in the offensive zone before Hartnell punched the puck past Canes goalie Cam Ward at 11:15 of the second.
Hartnell's second came soon after the Jackets killed off a penalty. Boone Jenner drove hard to the net and Hartnell was on position to knock the puck past Ward with 1:16 left in the period.
The Canes nearly tied the score with 28.9 seconds left in the second. Jiri Tlusty's backhander glanced off the inside of the post but the puck did not cross the goal line.
The Canes managed just four shots in a scoreless first period but did get the puck past McElhinney.
After the Jackets' Tim Erixon was called for interference eight minutes into the period, the Canes swarmed around McElhinney on the power play. Nathan Gerbe got a stick on the loose puck as Alexander Semin also poked at it, and a good goal was signaled.
But the four officials quickly huddled and the goal was overruled. The NHL explanation later was that Semin pushed McElhinney into the net with the puck, and the play was not reviewable.
The Canes came an inch or so from tying the score in the final 30 seconds of the second.
The Blue Jackets had a lot of possession time in the Canes zone in the opening period and an 11-4 shooting edge. Columbus had a pair of power plays in the final seven minutes of the first but the Canes killed off the two penalties.
Canes forward Elias Lindholm took stick to the face from the Jackets' James Wisniewski -- no penalty was called -- and left during the first period. He was back for the second with a gash across the bridge of his nose.
Tlusty was in the Canes lineup after taking a hit to the head Tuesday from Columbus defenseman Jack Johnson, who received a three-game NHL suspension. Tlusty had a chance to give the Canes the lead 20 seconds into the game, but was wide on an attempt off the rush
Ward was making his fifth straight start, having stopped 72 of 76 shots in beating Arizona, Los Angeles and Columbus.
The Canes finish off a back-to-back with a road game Saturday in