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Carolina Hurricanes vs. Columbus Blue Jackets: Game Preview

Think they can get seven straight goals again?

Carolina Hurricanes v Columbus Blue Jackets Photo by Emilee Chinn/NHLI via Getty Images

After an unanticipated day off with Tuesday’s game canceled, the Hurricanes are back in action against the visiting Blue Jackets. The Hurricanes, of course, started off their 2022 schedule with a memorable tilt against Columbus — seven straight goals helped Carolina bounce back to a win. It was a peak show of resilience from the team that left the Blue Jackets stunned.

That loss kicked off a three-game losing streak for the Blue Jackets, who proceeded to also drop games against the Tampa Bay Lightning and New Jersey Devils. The season as a whole has been full of ups and downs for Columbus, which has lost seven of its last 10 games. Its last game on Tuesday was a loss to the Blackhawks; Columbus’s one-goal lead stood for about 24 seconds before Chicago got on the board and it was all downhill from there.

For the Hurricanes, a win in this game is a chance to put some separation between them and the (surprisingly?) surging New York Rangers. Both teams are sitting on 50 points to date, and the Washington Capitals are right behind them both with 49 points. The Hurricanes have four games in hand on the Rangers and Capitals. The Capitals are idle until Saturday, but the Rangers take on the Sharks tonight, making a Hurricanes win all the more crucial to maintain their place in the standings.

Let’s see how the teams match up:

Vital Statistics

Category Hurricanes Bruins
Category Hurricanes Bruins
Record 54-20-8 51-26-5
Goals/Game 3.38 3.08
Goals Against/Game 2.44 2.66
Shots/Game 34.12 36.12
Face Off Win % 53.9% 54.2%
Power Play % (Rank) 22.0% (13th) 21.2% (15th)
Penalty Kill % (Rank) 88.0% (1st) 81.3% (9th)
ES Corsi For % 43.86% 56.14%
ES PDO 113.44 86.56
PIM/Game 12:00 22:00

Goaltender #1

Category Frederik Andersen Linus Ullmark
Category Frederik Andersen Linus Ullmark
Record 35-14-3 26-10-2
Save % .922 .917
GAA 2.17 2.45

Goaltender #2

Category Antti Raanta Jeremy Swayman
Category Antti Raanta Jeremy Swayman
Record 15-5-4 23-14-3
Save % .912 .914
GAA 2.45 2.41

Game Notes

  • The 15 goals against for the Hurricanes in the third period is the fewest in the league. The Blue Jackets, on the other hand, have a hard time closing things out: they’ve allowed 43 goals in the third period, fewer than just four other teams.
  • In the last game between these teams, all four goalies were used. Antti Ranta was pulled after the first period, with Freddie Andersen picking up the win in relief. For Columbus, rookie goalie Daniil Tarasov played two periods before exiting the game with an injury; he was then replaced by Elvis Merzlikins.
  • The Hurricanes and Blue Jackets have one more matchup this season, in Raleigh on February 25. The Hurricanes have won both of the games this season so far, outsourcing the Blue Jackets 12 to five in those games.
  • Hurricanes leading scorer Sebastian Aho (37 points) has 12 more points than the Blue Jackets’ leading scorer, Oliver Bjorkstrand (25 points).
  • Some of the Blue Jackets’ woes can be attributed to their dismal record away from Nationwide Arena: on the road, the Blue Jackets are 5-11-0 this season.
  • Can you believe that Jake Voracek only has one goal this season? His shooting percentage is an absolutely wild 1.7% — very far off from his career average of 9% to date.