The Columbus Blue Jackets (11-6-2), coming off an impressive performance on Thursday night against the Florida Panthers at Nationwide Arena, hit the road tonight to take on the Carolina Hurricanes (8-7-3). Sitting atop the Metropolitan Division, the CBJ will look to keep their good start going, while the Hurricanes are trying to get back on track. Puck drop is scheduled for shortly after 7:00 PM ET.
After losing five straight games, the Carolina Hurricanes enter tonight’s matchup winners of two of their last three contests. The Jackets have had a bit more success recently, going 6-2-2 in their last ten games.
On Thursday, the Blue Jackets fought through some adversity and defeated the Florida Panthers by a score of 7-3 without the assistance of their two best players: Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky. Seven different players registered goals on the evening as the CBJ showed off their offensive depth despite being without their top point-getter this year.
Assuming both players have gotten enough Vitamin-C over the last couple days, both should be back in the lineup tonight in Raleigh.
Although Joonas Korpisalo had an impressive performance on Thursday, Sergei Bobrovsky was on a roll before getting sick and would be in net if healthy. In his last five starts since the calendar turned over to November, he’s allowed more than one goal just once.
Offensively, the Blue Jackets have five players with 5+ goals, including four that are on pace to score 30+. The Hurricanes, on the other hand, have just one player with more than five goals this year, and it’s Michael Ferland. The Carolina winger comes in hot, finding the back of the net in two straight games.
Another thing to watch tonight will be the CBJ power play. Although they didn’t score on the man advantage on Thursday night (only had one opportunity), they had tallied a power play goal in four straight heading into that contest. A hot power play could present a mismatch in this game tonight, as the Carolina Hurricanes feature the 29th ranked penalty-kill unit in the National Hockey League.
The Blue Jackets will be playing their 20th game of the season tonight. At essentially the quarter-season mark, the fact that the Jackets are looking down on everyone in the division is certainly a good sign. They’ll look to avoid a letdown and keep things rolling tonight against the Canes.