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Carolina Hurricanes vs. Columbus Blue Jackets: Game Preview

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The Hurricanes face off against the Blue Jackets for the final time this season.

Carolina Hurricanes v Columbus Blue Jackets Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images

Is it just me or does it feel like every game is against the Blue Jackets?

Probably just me, I guess, but good news: after this, the Carolina Hurricanes don’t have to face the Columbus Blue Jackets again this season. All of the questions about what’s going on over there at Nationwide Arena and just how John Tortorella still has a job and oh wow they sure are misusing Patrik Laine — all those thoughts can at the very least be put on hold after the final buzzer.

The Blue Jackets are currently mired in their worst season since 2011-12, when they finished the season with 65 points and a 0.386 points percentage. This year, the Blue Jackets’ 42 points and 0.412 points percentage is the fourth worst in franchise history, and as time winds down this year, things don’t look to be getting any better.

The Blue Jackets just snapped a nine-game losing streak by picking up a win over Detroit, a goaltender’s duel which ended in a 1-0 shootout win, which certainly isn’t something you see happen every day. And while I think most Blue Jackets fans are just waiting for the season to end, the players are trying to salvage any sort of hope they can from their last five games of the season.

For one last time, let’s see how these two teams stack up:

Vital Statistics

Category Hurricanes Lightning
Category Hurricanes Lightning
Record 5-5-0 7-3-0
Goals/Game 3.10 3.60
Goals Against/Game 2.80 2.60
Shots/Game 37.6 29.5
Face Off Win % 52.7% 47.6%
Power Play % (Rank) 20.0% (8th) 41.2% (1st)
Penalty Kill % (Rank) 77.5% (9th) 75.8% (10th)
ES Corsi For % 55.1% 46.4%
ES PDO 99.1 101.5
PIM/Game 10:24 12:12

Goaltender #1

Category Alex Nedeljkovic Andrei Vasilevskiy
Category Alex Nedeljkovic Andrei Vasilevskiy
Record 4-4-0 7-3-0
Save % .920 .928
GAA 2.18 2.46

Goaltender #2

Category Petr Mrazek Curtis McElhinney
Category Petr Mrazek Curtis McElhinney
Record 1-1-0 0-0-0
Save % .873 .000
GAA 3.90 0.00

Goaltender #3

Category James Reimer Kasimir Kaskisuo
Category James Reimer Kasimir Kaskisuo
Record 15-5-2 0-0-0
Save % .906 .000
GAA 2.66 0.00

Game Notes

  • The Hurricanes are 4-1-2 against the Blue Jackets this season, with 26 goals scored and 20 against. James Reimer and Alex Nedeljkovic have two wins each against Columbus.
  • Since the last time these teams met on March 25, the Blue Jackets have shut down goaltender Joonas Korpisalo and defenseman Zach Werenski for the season and placed forward Boone Jenner, who hasn’t played since April 6, on injured reserve.
  • Today’s game is the second in a five-game homestand for the Hurricanes, before they head off to Nashville to close out the regular season.
  • The secret to beating the Blue Jackets this season seems to be to score early and don’t look back: Columbus is 1-11-2 when trailing after the first period.
  • The league’s worst road penalty kill (10.6%) meets the league’s second best home penalty kill (90.5%) in case you’re wondering how important special teams will be in this game.
  • Patrik Laine has missed 10 games for the Blue Jackets, due to his time in Winnipeg pre-trade, and his quarantine time afterwards, but still leads the team in power play goals (4).
  • Sebastian Aho will look to continue his points streak — he has points in six consecutive games and assists in four straight. He’s tallied three goals and eight assists during the streak.
  • In the month of April, the Hurricanes earned the most points in the NHL, earning 24 points with a 10-2-4 record. The Vegas Golden Knights do have the slight edge in points percentage for the month (0.767 for Vegas and 0.750 for Carolina).
  • If you’re standings-watching, the Hurricanes got a little help from some frenemies last night: