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Hurricanes vs Blue Jackets: Preview

Canes and Blue Jackets then Canes and Blue Jackets... the Metro rivals play a home-and-home set this weekend.

James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Hurricanes vs Columbus Blue Jackets
January 8, 2016 - 7:00 pm ET
PNC Arena - Raleigh, NC
Fox Sports Carolinas - 99.9 FM - WRALSportsFan app
SB Nation Rivals - The Cannon

Vital Statistics

Hurricanes Blue Jackets
Record 16-18-7 15-23-3
Points 39 33
Division Rank 7th Metro 8th Metro
Conference Rank 14th EC 16th EC
Last 10 Games 4-4-2 4-6-0
Streak Lost 1 Lost 1

Goals/Game 2.29 2.51
Goals Against/Game 2.76 3.17
ES Goals For % 44.9% 45.6%
Shots/Game 29.7 28.9
Shots Against/Game 26.0 30.5
ES Corsi For % 53.5% 47.7%
Faceoff % 53.1% 48.9%
ES PDO 97.6 98.9
Power Play % (Rank) 16.3% (28) 18.4% (20)
Penalty Kill % (Rank) 79.4% (21) 80.8% (13)
PIM/Game 06:14 13:16

Goaltender #1 Ward Korpisalo
Record 11-11-4 1-4-0
ES Save % .908 .917
GAA 2.45 3.65

Goaltender #2 Lack Forsberg
Record 5-7-3 1-1-0
ES Save % .899 .929
GAA 2.41 1.92

*Stats from and War on Ice

Game Notes

  • The Hurricanes and Blue Jackets kick off the weekend with back-to-back games, in Raleigh tonight and in  Columbus tomorrow night. Carolina won the season series against their Metro division rivals last year with a 3-0-1 record.
  • It's game 42 for the Canes which means their season has hit the halfway point. After defeating the Washington Capitals to end 2015, they've had three chances to bring the first half of their season to hockey .500 and have fallen short. After two straight overtime losses, they were within 66 seconds of forcing their third in a row against the Vancouver Canucks Wednesday. John-Michael Liles scored the team's first short-handed goal of the season, and Jordan Staal contributed a goal and an assist, but a late goal from Bo Horvat left them with a 3-2 loss.
  • Perhaps more importantly, the game may have left them without Victor Rask, who exited the game early with an upper body injury. Rask leads all Canes forwards in points (11g, 15a), and if he is out of the lineup (and we won't know until later today, the team spent yesterday returning home from the west coast), his loss will be a significant setback for a team that is already missing Phillip Di Giuseppe, and one that after finding a scoring touch in December has again been struggling to generate offense.
  • In net against his former team, Eddie Lack lost in regulation for just the first time in his last seven starts (4-1-2). He and Cam Ward will likely split duties over the weekend. Neither has stellar stats against the Jackets; Ward is 2-4-1 with a 3.04 GAA in eight games and Lack is 0-2-0 with a 3.89 GAA in two appearances.
  • After an 0-7-0 start, Columbus fired head coach Todd Richards and brought in the tempestuous John Tortorella, who has begun to implement some improvements, but the Blue Jackets remain in the cellar of the Eastern Conference. The organization made another big splash on Tuesday when they traded forward Ryan Johansson to the Nashville Predators in exchange for defenseman Seth Jones. Jones was drafted fourth in the 2013 draft (one spot ahead of Elias Lindholm) and is in his third NHL season. He will be in the lineup tonight paired with Ryan Murray.
  • The Blue Jackets are led by Scott Hartnell with 30 points (15g, 15a), and Brandon Saad leads in goal scoring (16) and was announced this week as the team's representative to the All-Star game. Both of their starting goaltenders (Sergei Bobrovsky and Curtis McElhinney) are out of the lineup with injuries, so the tandem of Anton Forsberg and Joonas Korpisalo are handling duties in net. Neither have faced the Canes before in their young careers.
  • UPDATE 11:45 AM: Victor Rask skated this morning but will be a game-time decision. Brock McGinn is the healthy extra forward but will draw in if Rask is not able to play. Forward lines and defensive pairings have been shuffled as listed. Cam Ward is confirmed in net, and Anton Forsberg will start for the Blue Jackets. Of note, Phil Di Giuseppe skated briefly at the end of practice but there is no timetable for his return, and Nathan Gerbe also skated and is projected for a mid-month return.

Projected Lineups

Hurricanes (1/8 morning skate)

Eric Staal - Jordan Staal - Kris Versteeg
Joakim Nordstrom - Victor Rask - Elias Lindholm
Jeff Skinner - Riley Nash - Chris Terry
Brad Malone - Jay McClement - Andrej Nestrasil

Ron Hainsey - Justin Faulk 
John-Michael Liles - Brett Pesce
Noah Hanifin - Jaccob Slavin

Cam Ward
Eddie Lack

Injuries and scratches: James Wisniewski (IR ACL), Nathan Gerbe (IR ankle), Phillip Di Giuseppe (concussion), Brock McGinn (healthy), Michal Jordan (healthy)

Blue Jackets (1/7 practice)

Boone Jenner - Brandon Dubinsky - Cam Atkinson
Scott Hartnell - Alexander Wennberg - Brandon Saad
Nick Foligno - William Karlsson - Josh Anderson
Rene Bourque - Gregory Campbell - Jared Boll

Ryan Murray - Seth Jones
Jack Johnson - David Savard
Fedor Tyutin - Cody Goloubef

Anton Forsberg
Joonas Korpisalo

Injuries and Scratches: Matt Calvert (IR knee), David Clarkson (IR upper body), Markus Hannikainen (IR shoulder), Sergei Bobrovsky (IR groin), Curtis McElhinney (IR ankle), Kevin Connauton (healthy), the other Justin Falk (healthy), Dalton Prout (healthy)

Storm Debris

  • Canes Gameday Hub [].
  • Adam Gold says it's time for Hurricanes to ice the season [WRALSportsFan].
  • Canes carry questions into midseason [N&O].
  • Down on the farm in Charlotte, Derek Ryan and Trevor Carrick have been selected to the AHL All-Star Classic [GoCheckers], and broadcaster Jason Shaya weighs in with his ten thoughts on the team's record-setting 10-game points streak [GoCheckers].
  • A recap of the World Juniors, where two Hurricanes prospects brought home the heavy medal [].
  • Ryan Johansson and Seth Jones bump into each other in the airport as they head to their new teams [Puck Daddy].
  • The Hurricanes kick off a book drive tonight. Fans can drop off new and gently used books at the arena to help local organizations and be eligible to win prizes [].