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Game #35 Preview: Blue Jackets face a headwind in Raleigh

A struggling Columbus squad will look to avoid another skid against the Hurricanes.

Columbus Blue Jackets v Carolina Hurricanes Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images

Thursday, January 13, 2021 - 7:00 EST
PNC Arena - Raleigh, NC
TV: ESPN+/Hulu; Radio: 97.1 FM
Opponent’s Blog: Canes Country

Columbus Blue Jackets (16-16-1, 33 points, 5th Metro, 10th East)
at
Carolina Hurricanes (24-7-2, 50 points, 1st Metro, 3rd East)

The Blue Jackets are coming off a disappointing loss against the Blackhawks and now stand face to face with two of the best teams in the league. First up, the league leader in points percentage, the Carolina Hurricanes. The Canes have many of us that predicted them to take a step back this year eating our words. They are first in the league in goals against average and fourth in goals for average. The Jackets are going to need to be much better on both sides of the puck if they want a chance at two points.

This game will be streamed on ESPN+ and Hulu. If you have a subscription to either of these services, the game will be available. It will not be on Bally Sports Ohio. If you don’t have a subscription to ESPN+ or Hulu, both services offer a free trial. That’s tough news for some, but it will also be fun to hear John Buccigross call the game for ESPN.

Player to Watch

Sebastian Aho

The second round pick from Finland is having a career year so far. With 15-22-37 in 30 games, he’s on pace to break his personal point record of 83 from 2018-2019. Aho is an extremely dangerous player with a wicked shot. He’s not a one trick pony either. He has 17 power play points, 2 short handed points, and a faceoff win percentage of 55.

Many teams passed up on Aho in the 2015. One of the most notable? The Columbus Blue Jackets, who traded picks 34 and 68 for ... Gabriel Carlsson at 29. Aho was selected at 35.

Jackets Notes

Elvis Merzlikins was back on Tuesday, but wasn’t quite ready for starting duty ... Alexandre Texier is still on COVID protocol ... Jakub Voracek is tied with Nathan MacKinnon for second place in the league in primary assists ... Gus Nyquist’s hot streak continues after two points against Chicago — he’s now 4-4-8 in his last 7 games.

Season Series

10/23/21 — CAR 5 @ CBJ 1
1/1/22 — CAR 7 @ CBJ 4
1/13/22 — CBJ @ CAR
2/25/22 — CBJ @ CAR

Stats

Carolina Columbus
3.49 (4) GPG 3.09(15)
2.21 (1) GAPG 3.56(28)
24.0% (8) PP% 15.9% (27)
90.0% (2) PK% 77.9% (24)
55.85% (2) 5v5 Shot Attempt % 48.08% (22)
55.21% (3) 5v5 Unblocked shot attempt % 46.91% (24)
9.25% (4) 5v5 Shooting % 9.07% (7)
.927 (10) 5v5 Save % .907 (29)
Sebastian Aho, 15 G Leader Boone Jenner, 14
Sebastian Aho, 24 A Leader Jakub Voracek, 24
Sebastian Aho, 37 P Leader BJORKSTRAND and Voracek, 25
Vincent Trocheck, 43 PIM Leader Andrew Peeke, 26
11-3-1 Home / Road 5-11-0
8-1-1 Last 10 3-6-1

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
Patrik Laine Boone Jenner Gus Nyquist
Jakub Voracek Cole Sillinger Oliver BJORKSTRAND
Emil Bemstrom Jack Roslovic Max Domi
Eric Robinson Sean Kuraly Yegor Chinakhov
Zach Werenski Adam Boqvist
Vladislav Gavrikov Andrew Peeke
Dean Kukan Jake Bean
Elvis Merzlikins
Joonas Korpisalo
Carolina Hurricanes
Teuvo Teravainen Sebastian Aho Nino Niederreiter
Jesper Fast Vincent Trocheck Andrei Svechnikov
Martin Necas Jordan Staal Jesperi Kotkaniemi
Steven Lorentz Derek Stepan Seth Jarvis
Tony DeAngelo Jaccob Slavin
Brett Pesce Brady Skjei
Ethan Bear Ian Cole
Frederik Anderson
Alex Lyon