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Carolina Hurricanes vs. Columbus Blue Jackets: Game Preview and Discussion

Can the Canes extend their franchise-record start to six straight wins tonight? They’re facing a Blue Jackets team that will look very unfamiliar.

Columbus Blue Jackets v Carolina Hurricanes Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images

In their final game before a weeklong West Coast road trip, the Carolina Hurricanes will welcome the division rival Columbus Blue Jackets to PNC Arena in the back half of a back-to-back set. The Canes are rolling, while the Blue Jackets are floundering, although that’s somewhat unsurprising given the amount of roster turnover that afflicted them over the summer - including a player who went from one locker room to the other in the offseason.

Vital Statistics

Category Hurricanes Blue Jackets
Category Hurricanes Blue Jackets
Record 21-7-3 13-13-7
Goals/Game 3.23 2.54
Goals Against/Game 2.48 3.12
Shots/Game 31.52 28.70
Face Off Win % 54.4% 46.2%
Power Play % (Rank) 30.6% (1st) 14.8% (26th)
Penalty Kill % (Rank) 82.9% (9th) 74.0% (26th)
ES Corsi For % 53.04% 46.16%
ES PDO 100.96 99.42
PIM/Game 07:21 06:43

Goaltender #1

Category James Reimer Joonas Korpisalo
Category James Reimer Joonas Korpisalo
Record 12-4-1 8-10-5
Save % 0.909 .900
GAA 2.68 2.98

Goaltender #2

Category Alex Nedeljkovic Elvis Merzlikins
Category Alex Nedeljkovic Elvis Merzlikins
Record 7-2-2 5-3-2
Save % .930 .912
GAA 1.96 2.91

Game Notes

  • As you may have heard, the Hurricanes are 5-0-0 so far this season. It’s the first time in franchise history the Canes (or Whalers) have rattled off five straight wins to begin a season. If you’re scoring at home, the league record for wins to start the year is ten, shared by the 1993 Toronto Maple Leafs and the 2006 Buffalo Sabres.
  • Forward Ryan Dzingel likely doesn’t have many lasting memories of his time with the Blue Jackets, but nonetheless tonight will be his first game against his former team since signing with Carolina in free agency. The former Ohio State star played a total of 30 games with Columbus, scoring five goals and 13 points following his trade from the Senators at the deadline. All but one of those points came in the regular season.
  • Andrei Svechnikov is one of seven players to have hit the eight-point mark so far this season. The only players ahead of him are some guys named Connor McDavid and Patrik Laine. Not bad company.
  • Not to be outdone, Dougie Hamilton’s three goals so far tie him with Kevin Shattenkirk for the league lead among defensemen.
  • After tonight, the Blue Jackets won’t return to PNC Arena until April 3. In the meantime, the Hurricanes will visit Columbus twice, on October 24 and January 16.
  • The teams split the season series 2-2 last season, with each team winning once in the other team’s arena. Overall, the Hurricanes are 20-14-4 all time against Columbus, including an 11-6-3 mark at home.


What, you think the Hurricanes are going to change? (Well, except for in goal, where James Reimer will take over after Petr Mrazek topped the Islanders last night.)

Nino Niederreiter - Sebastian Aho - Teuvo Teravainen
Andrei Svechnikov - Jordan Staal - Brock McGinn
Ryan Dzingel - Erik Haula - Martin Necas
Warren Foegele - Lucas Wallmark - Julien Gauthier

Jaccob Slavin - Dougie Hamilton
Joel Edmundson - Brett Pesce
Jake Gardiner - Haydn Fleury

James Reimer
Petr Mrazek

Injuries and Scratches: Trevor van Riemsdyk (IR shoulder), Jordan Martinook (core muscle)

Meanwhile, the Jackets fell for the third time in four games last night in a 2-1 loss at home to the Anaheim Ducks. Neither team skated this morning, so the Jackets’ lines are based on their game yesterday, with the assumption that they will also swap goaltenders tonight.

Gustav Nyqvist - Pierre-Luc Dubois - Cam Atkinson
Alexandre Texier - Alexander Wennberg - Oliver Bjorkstrand
Nick Foligno - Boone Jenner - Emil Bemstrom
Sonny Milano - Riley Nash - Jakob Lilja

Zach Werenski - Seth Jones
Ryan Murray - Markus Nutivaara
Vladislav Gavrikov - David Savard

Joonas Korpisalo
Elvis Merzlikins

Injuries and Scratches: Dean Kukan (healthy), Markus Hannikainen (healthy), Brandon Dubinsky (IR wrist), Liam Foudy (IR upper-body), Josh Anderson (IR upper-body)