Sonny Bill Williams' return for the Blues couldn't prevent the Hurricanes winning their Super Rugby derby 36-15 to claim the competition lead.
Cross-code star Williams returned from a lengthy injury layoff to set up a try with a trademark offload but was otherwise subdued for the home side, who fell away in the second half at Eden Park on Friday.
The Hurricanes scored five tries to two in notching a ninth successive win.
They inched past the Crusaders at the top of the table although the defending champions can reclaim first spot if successful against the Waratahs on Saturday.
Ricky Riccitelli and excellent No.8 Gareth Evans scored tries to put the Hurricanes 14-8 up following a forgettable first half.
Prop Ofa Tu'ungafasi's try gave the Blues a momentary lead but fullback Nehe Milner-Skudder, lock Sam Lousi and centre Matt Proctor crossed to leave the Blues without a win in 16 successive Kiwi derbies.
A bright point for the Blues was their first-half try to Orbyn Leger, set up when Williams drew three defenders to put him across.
Second five-eight Williams missed the last six rounds with a fractured wrist but has returned in time to force his way into All Blacks Test contention.