The Canes’ loss to Washington snapped a three-game win streak, as Carolina couldn’t muster many opportunities in the shutout. The Hurricanes are 3-3 since the calendar turned to 2020, and they still hold the top wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
In the two games prior to the loss to the Capitals, the Hurricanes posted shutouts of their own, with Petr Mrazek and James Reimer each getting one. The goaltending has been absolutely fantastic for the Canes as of late, and it looks like it will be Mrazek who gets to try and build on that Thursday.
Here’s how Rod Brind’Amour’s squad will likely line up Thursday, based on how things looked at practice yesterday:
Andrei Svechnikov - Jordan Staal - Teuvo Teravainen
Sebastian Aho - Erik Haula - Warren Foegele
Ryan Dzingel - Lucas Wallmark - Martin Necas
Nino Niederreiter - Jordan Martinook - Brock McGinn
Jaccob Slavin - Dougie Hamilton
Joel Edmundson - Brett Pesce
Jake Gardiner - Trevor van Riemsdyk
Injuries and Scratches: Haydn Fleury (healthy), Justin Williams (healthy)
The Blue Jackets sit two points behind the Canes in the standings, and they may be playing some of their best hockey of the season right now.
Columbus is coming off back-to-back wins over Vegas and Boston, and the Blue Jackets have won five of seven games since the start of the new year.
Defenseman Zach Werenski is tied for the team lead with 15 goals and is the only defenseman in the NHL that has scored more than the Canes’ Dougie Hamilton. Pierre-Luc Dubois is also putting up big numbers for Columbus, as he has 15 goals and 19 assists.
Elvis Merzlikins will get the start in net for the Blue Jackets, as All-Star goalie Joonas Korpisalo is out with a knee injury. Merzlikins is as hot as can be, as he has posted back-to-back shutouts in Columbus’ wins over Vegas and Boston.
Here is how the rest of the Blue Jackets will line up Thursday:
Emil Bemstrom - Pierre-Luc Dubois - Cam Atkinson
Gustav Nyquist - Boone Jenner - Nick Foligno
Nathan Gerbe - Alexander Wennberg - Kevin Stenlund
Jakob Lilja - Riley Nash - Eric Robinson
Zach Werenski - Seth Jones
Vladislav Gavrikov - David Savard
Scott Harrington - Markus Nutivaara
Injuries and Scratches: Sonny Milano (healthy), Adam Clendening (healthy), Joonas Korpisalo (knee)