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Carolina Hurricanes at Columbus Blue Jackets: Game Preview, Notes, Statistics, How to Watch

An extremely important four-game divisional stretch kicks off tonight with the Canes in Columbus. 

NHL: Carolina Hurricanes at Columbus Blue Jackets Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Hurricanes (21-15-7) at Columbus Blue Jackets (29-9-4)
Tuesday, January 17, 2017 - 7:00 p.m. ET
Nationwide Arena – Columbus, OH
FOX Sports Carolinas - 99.9 The Fan - WRALSportsFan Web and App
SB Nation Rival Blog: The Cannon

Vital Statistics

Category Hurricanes Blue Jackets
Category Hurricanes Blue Jackets
Record 21-15-7 29-9-4
Points 49 62
Division Rank 6 Metro 2 Metro
Conference Rank 9 EC 2 EC
Last 10 Games 6-4-0 6-4-0
Streak Won Loss 1
Goals/Game 2.77 3.31
Goals Against/Game 2.63 2.24
Shots/Game 30.6 30.3
Shots Against/Game 27.6 29.8
Faceoff % 51.7% 47.7%
Power Play % (Rank) 17.2% (18) 26.0% (1)
Penalty Kill % (Rank) 88.7% (1) 83.0% (10)
ES Corsi For % 52.1% 55.1%
ES PDO 99.4 101.3
PIM/Game 05:95 08:93

Goaltender #1

Category Petr Mrazek Tuukka Rask
Category Petr Mrazek Tuukka Rask
Record 5-5 11-5
Save % .894 .939
GAA 2.73 1.96

Goaltender #2

Category Alex Nedeljkovic Anton Forsberg
Category Alex Nedeljkovic Anton Forsberg
Record 0-0-0 0-1-0
ES Save % .000 .852
GAA 0.00 4.10

Game Notes

  • Quite possibly the most difficult stretch of the season and most important awaits the Hurricanes over the next four games. The Canes will face the Blue Jackets twice, plus the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals once each. These are all teams that sit near the top of the entire league and remain some of the NHL’s hottest teams, not to mention the Hurricanes are chasing all three in the Metro standings.
  • Brock McGinn was named the NHL’s 3rd star of the week after recording 7 points in 3 games. His line along with Jordan Staal and Elias Lindholm has been deadly in their last few games and the Canes need that line to keep at it. Staal has points in 4 straight while Lindholm and McGinn have points in 3 straight games.
  • If the Hurricanes defeat the Blue Jackets tonight they will leapfrog the Philadelphia Flyers and take sole possession of the second wild card spot.

We interrupt this preview to encourage you to read that again:

The Hurricanes - the Carolina Hurricanes - will move into a playoff spot with a win tonight.

  • Looks strange, doesn’t it?
  • An overtime loss would tie the Flyers, but the Hurricanes own the tiebreaker at the moment, so therefore they would still move in to the wild card spot with an OTL. This would be the first time since 2011 that the Canes would be in a playoff position this far into a season.
  • Cam Ward will get the nod for the 20th straight game against Columbus. One has to begin to wonder how long he can keep going without some rest. The Canes sent Michael Leighton to Charlotte on Monday and recalled Alex Nedeljkovic in a move that was likely made just to get Leighton some playing time with the Checkers.
  • This game may very well be decided with special teams. Carolina has the #1 penalty kill in the NHL while Columbus has the #1 power play. Whichever unit comes out on top in that dogfight will likely help their team prevail.
  • Eddie Lack practiced with the team on Monday and Bill Peters said he believes Lack is close to returning but no date was given. Bryan Bickell was also out with the team in a no–contact jersey. Bickell is on a long road back to possibly one day playing in a game again after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis earlier this season.
  • Just 7 days ago the Hurricanes took down the Blue Jackets at home 5-3 and tonight will be the second of four match-ups this year for the two teams.
  • The Jackets’ Sergei Bobrovsky returned to practice yesterday after missing three games with an illness that popped up last week in Raleigh. Matt Calvert, who also fell ill when the Jackets visited the Triangle last week, has returned after only missing the one game against the Hurricanes.