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Game #20 Preview: Jackets Look to Extend Points Streak at Hurricanes

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With points in their last six games, the first-place Blue Jackets hit the road to face the Hurricanes for the second time this season.

NHL: Carolina Hurricanes at Columbus Blue Jackets Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday, November 17, 2018 - 7:00 EST
PNC Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina
TV: Fox Sports Ohio; Radio: 97.1 FM
Opponent’s Blog: Canes Country

Columbus Blue Jackets (11-6-2, 24 points, 1st Metro, 3rd East)

vs.

Carolina Hurricanes (8-7-3, 19 points, t-5th Metro, t-10th East)

It’s Saturday night hockey from PNC Arena tonight, as the first place Columbus Blue Jackets take on the Carolina Hurricanes for the second-time this season. Carolina won the previous battle Oct. 5, Columbus’ home opener, 3-1, facing former Blue Jacket, Curtis McElhinney in net. The Hurricanes last played on Monday, defeating the Blackhawks 3-2 in overtime while Columbus comes in on a six-game points streak, having beat the Panthers 7-3 last time out on Thursday.

Player to Watch

Cam Atkinson enters the matchup with 11 career points (three goals, eight assists) against the Hurricanes in 22 career meetings. Atkinson enters on a career-best three-game point streak (three goals, two assists). Brandon Dubinsky comes in with 22 points (12 goals, 10 assists), against Carolina in 39 career matchups. Dubinsky scored the lone goal for Columbus in the 3-1 loss to Carolina in October.

Jordan Staal has 16 points (nine goals, seven assists) in 26 prior meetings against Columbus while Justin Williams enters with 25 points (nine goals, 16 assists) in 38 career games against Columbus.

First-round draft pick, selected second overall, the 18-year-old Andrei Svechnikov has started his career with the Hurricanes scoring eight points (four goals, four assists) in 18 games. The Russian forward picked up two assists against the Blackhawks on Monday, and an assist versus Columbus in the first meeting.

Drafted that high, undoubtedly the expectations are high for the one that many deem to be the next Russian superstar, mixing power and speed. Playing for the Barrie Colts of the OHL in 2017-18, he racked up 72 points (40-32) with 67 penalty minutes.

Jackets Notes

Sergei Bobrovsky, Artemi Panarin, and Riley Nash missed Thursday’s game due to illness, but each practiced Friday and are expected to be in the lineup tonight. ... Nick Foligno did not practice due to a personal matter. ... Friday’s practice was run by assistants as head coach John Tortorella missed due to illness. ... Assistant coach Brad Shaw said Torts as probable to be behind the bench for tonight. ... Gabriel Carlsson was recalled from Cleveland, while Zac Dalpe and Jean-Francois Berube were sent back down. ... Pierre-Luc Dubois enters with a three-game point streak (two goals, five assists). ... Joonas Korpisalo comes in off a 40-save performance against the Panthers Thursday night, and was the games’ third star. ... The 43 shots Korpisalo faced were the most this season, but he made a season-high 41 saves against those Panthers at Florida in October. ... On the season, he is 5-0-2, (3.67 GAA, .885 SV%) and in four career games against the Hurricanes (2-0, .924, 2.16). ... Bobrovsky is 9-8 (.929, 2.16) in 17 career games against the Hurricanes. ... Tonight will be Artemi Panarin’s 100th career game in a Blue Jackets uniform.

The Other Bench

Carolina is in the middle of a season-long six-game homestand. After their game against the Blue Jackets tonight, they will face the Devils tomorrow afternoon at 5:00 p.m. With all the time off in between games, the Hurricanes know they have to get off to a fast start tonight.

Said head coach Rod Brind’Amour:

“We need to get right back at it. That’s always the worry when you take this much time in between games. We had a good one, a victory, and everyone was feeling good. You can’t take the foot off the gas. We need to, for a few days, to mentally get away from it, but we have to make sure we get back to where we were. Otherwise, it’s going to be rough.” — Hurricanes.com

The Hurricanes have played Columbus tough in recent history, and bring a 13-3-4 record over their last 20 meetings into play tonight. That stretch of dominance includes a current six-game point streak for Carolina against the Jackets (4-0-2), but Brind’Amour knows this is a tough matchup for his young ‘Canes.

“They’ve got a great team. They have it all covered. They have great goaltending, D and some dynamic forwards. They’re big and can skate. It’s a good team. We’re going to be up against it.” — Hurricanes.com

Last season the Hurricanes went 2-0-2 against Columbus. The Hurricanes are just 26th in the league in GF/GP (2.72) but produce a lethal scoring punch, led by 21-year-old Sebastian Aho. Aho leads his club with 17 assists and 22 points. In just his second season last year, he set a career-high with 65 points, 29 goals, and 36 assists. However, his status for Saturday’s game is unclear if he will play due to general soreness. Backup goalie Petr Mrazek has missed the last five games due to lower-body injury, leading the way for Scott Darling’s (2-2-1, 2.79, .913) quest to win consecutive starts for the first time this season. Brett Pesce missed the last game due to a knee injury and his status is also unclear for tonight. Victor Rask is out until December after undergoing surgery to repair cut tendons in two fingers.

Season Series

10/05/2018 CAR 3 @ CBJ 1
11/17/2018 CBJ @ CAR
1/4/2019 CBJ @ CAR
3/15/2019 CAR @ CBJ

Stats

Carolina Columbus
2.72 (26) GPG 3.42 (4)
2.94 (14) GAPG 3.21 (22)
16.9% (22) PP% 16.2% (23)
71.9% (29) PK% 76.6% (24)
59.75% (1) EV Corsi % 49.63% (16)
97.1 (29) EV PDO 101.2 (t-8)
Michael Ferland, 9 G Leader Cam Atkinson and Pierre-Luc Dubois, 9
Sebastian Aho, 17 A Leader Artemi Panarin, 13
Sebastian Aho, 22 P Leader Artemi Panarin, 18
Michael Ferland, 13 PIM Leader Pierre-Luc Dubois, 30
4-3-2 Home / Road 6-2-1
4-4-2 Last 10 6-2-2

Projected Lineup

Columbus Blue Jackets
Artemi Panarin Pierre-Luc Dubois Cam Atkinson
Nick Foligno Boone Jenner Josh Anderson
Brandon Dubinsky Alexander Wennberg Anthony Duclair
Markus Hannikainen Riley Nash Oliver Bjorkstrand
Ryan Murray Seth Jones
Markus Nutivaara David Savard
Zach Werenski Scott Harrington
Sergei Bobrovsky
Joonas Korpisalo
Carolina Hurricanes
Brock McGinn Jordan Staal Justin Williams
Michael Ferland Sebastian Aho Teuvo Teravainen
Andrei Svechnikov Lucas Wallmark Jordan Martinook
Warren Foegele Clark Bishop Phil Di Giuseppe
Jaccob Slavin Dougie Hamilton
Calvin De Haan Justin Faulk
Haydn Fleury Trevor Van Riemsdyk
Scott Darling
Curtis McElhinney