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Game #30 Preview: Blue Jackets kick off pivotal four game stretch with road trip to Raleigh to take on high flying Hurricanes

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Here’s what you need to know.

NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at Carolina Hurricanes James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Columbus Blue Jackets at Carolina Hurricanes
Thursday, March 18, 2021 - 7:00 EST
PNC Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina
TV: Fox Sports Ohio - Radio: WBNS FM
Opponent’s Blog: Canes Country

Columbus Blue Jackets, 11-12-7, 29 points, 5th Central, 20th league
@
Carolina Hurricanes, 20-7-1, 41 points, 3rd Central, 5th league

The consistently inconsistent Columbus Blue Jackets take the ice again tonight, kicking off their only four game stretch against an opponent this season. Naturally, it comes against one of the top teams in the NHL as the Jackets draw four straight against the Carolina Hurricanes. The Canes have lost just once in regulation this season on home ice, and present a formidable challenge - they are near the top of the league in most metrics, score goals in bunches, and have made due with less-than-name-brand goaltending this year. The Blue Jackets have done none of those things.

Columbus isn’t mathematically eliminated if they get perform poorly in this stretch, but it could certainly feel like they are. The best approach here is to win each period, one after the other, and try to string points together. This is the most daunting task the team has faced thus far this season. Let’s see if they are up for it.

Player to Watch

Nick Foligno

Nick Foligno, based on all of the smoke around his trade deadline availability, may be coming to the end of the line with the Blue Jackets (at least for right now). Tonight, he will apparently be centering Patrik Laine and Oliver Bjorkstrand, so the potential to showcase his ability will be there. If this is the end of his time in a CBJ sweater (again, for now), let’s take the time to appreciate the captain.

Plus, he got a haircut.

Jackets Notes

Mikhail Grigorenko cleared waivers and was assigned to the taxi squad yesterday ... Alexandre Texier missed practice yesterday with an illness and, due to the NHL’s COVID-19 protocols, will miss the next two games ... Mikko Lehtonen is still in Canada waiting on his work visa approval ... Fox Sports Ohio will rebrand as Bally Sports Ohio on March 31, but still will not be carried on Youtube TV

The Other Bench

Carolina had a tough ride coming back from Detroit after Tuesday’s loss

Vincent Trocheck is week to week with an upper body injury ... Tuesday’s loss ended an eight game winning streak ... Warren Foegele left Tuesday’s loss with an upper body injury

Season Series

02/07/2021 CAR 6 @ CBJ 5
02/08/2021 CAR 2 @ CBJ 3
02/15/2021 CBJ 3 @ CAR 7
03/18/2021 CBJ @ CAR
03/20/2021 CBJ @ CAR
03/22/2021 CAR @ CBJ
03/25/2021 CAR @ CBJ
05/01/2021 CBJ @ CAR

Stats

Carolina Columbus
3.32 (8) GPG 2.63 (23)
2.57 (8) GAPG 3.20 (23)
31.9% (1) PP% 16.0% (25)
81.8% (9) PK% 72.9% (28)
53.08% (3) 5v5 Corsi % 46.19% (31)
52.55% (7) 5v5 Fenwick % 47.40% (27)
7.35% (26) 5v5 Shot % 8.13% (17)
.933 (3) 5v5 Save % .915 (24)
Vincent Trocheck and Nino Niederreiter, 13 G Leader Cam Atkinson, 11
Dougie Hamilton, 19 A Leader Jack Roslovic, 14
Sebastian Aho, 26 P Leader Oliver Bjorkstrand, 23
Andrei Svechnikov, 26 PIM Leader Max Domi, 35
10-1-1 Home / Road 4-7-2
8-2-0 Last 10 3-5-2

Projected Lineups

¯\_ (ツ)_/¯

Columbus Blue Jackets
Max Domi Jack Roslovic Cam Atkinson
Oliver Bjorkstrand Nick Foligno Patrik Laine
Boone Jenner Riley Nash Emil Bemstrom
Eric Robinson Ryan MacInnis Stefan Matteau
Zach Werenski Seth Jones
Vladislav Gavrikov David Savard
Dean Kukan Michael Del Zotto
Joonas Korpisalo
Elvis Merzlikins
Carolina Hurricanes
Jesper Fast Jordan Staal Andrei Svechnikov
Martin Necas Sebastian Aho Nino Niederreiter
Brock McGinn Jordan Martinook Warren Foegele
Cedric Paquette Morgan Geekie Steven Lorentz
Dougie Hamilton Jaccob Slavin
Brett Pesce Brady Skjei
Haydn Fleury Jake Bean
James Reimer
Alex Nedeljkovic