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Game #52 Preview/Gamethread: Jackets in Carolina

Can the Jackets keep their streak going?

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

Friday, February 25, 2022 - 7:00 EST
PNC Arena - Raleigh, North Carolina
TV: Bally Sports Ohio; Radio: 97.1 FM
Opponent’s Blog: Canes Country

Columbus Blue Jackets (27-23-1, 53 points, 5th Metro, 9th East)
Carolina Hurricanes (35-11-4, 74 points, 1st Metro, 2nd East)

Last night was awesome! If you missed it, here’s our recap. We needed a sound win over the Panthers, after we were trounced in our last meeting just a few weeks back. The boys are on a roll! But can they keep it going in such a short turnaround time against another league frontrunner tonight? I’m proceeding with very cautious optimism here.

Player to Watch

Patrik Laine

Who else? This guy is hot as hell right now. He’s currently on an 11-game point streak, which is the third longest streak in franchise history. I love watching him flourish in Columbus. Another notable here: Vladislav Gavrikov, who was anointed with his first “A” in last night’s game and was awarded the kepi by Berube for running a solid defense in Zach Werenski’s absence (upper-body injury). From the Blue Jackets’ game day guide:

“I think he’s earned that letter,” head coach Brad Larsen said of Gavrikov, who earned his career-best 21st assist and 23rd point of the season in the 6-3 win at Florida. “I talked to him not too long ago about what he means to our team. What he brings every day, he goes about his business, he’s very professional, he comes to the rink with a smile. He’s very consistent in how he plays. We love him for what he does. He’s a competitor, a real good competitor, and I think he’s grown. “He’s grown on me. He’s got a really neat personality, and it was an opportunity I think to just reward him and show him what we think. I think he’s taking that step. I think he’s worked himself into that leadership group by how he plays, how he presents himself and how he helps our team.”

Jackets Notes

Berube is back in net! According to him, he’s feeling “great” after three huge wins this week, becoming the second franchise goalie to make such an auspicious start. He’s got a .925 save percentage right now, which is all anyone can ask for, and tonight he’ll have Elvis Merzlikins ready as backup, as Jet Greaves was assigned to the Monsters.

The Other Bench

In Canes Country’s words, not mine, the Hurricanes’ last appearance against the Blue Jackets was “no doubt the worst game Carolina has played all season.” Sorry about that! The Blue Jackets are certainly working with momentum right now, but the Hurricanes will surely batten down the hatches as they begin a two-game home stand tonight and are fresh off a win over the struggling Flyers. Sebastian Aho is one to look out for tonight, as he has 11 career goals against the Blue Jackets, his highest count against any team.

Season Series

10/23/2021 CBJ 1 vs. CAR 5
1/1/2022 CBJ 4 vs. CAR 7
1/13/2022 CBJ 6 @ CAR 0
2/25/2022 CBJ @ CAR


Carolina Columbus
3.50 (6) GPG 3.33 (9)
2.42(1) GAPG 3.64 (30)
25% (6) PP% 17.5% (24)
89.8% (1) PK% 81.4% (12)
54.2% (4) 5v5 Shot Attempt % 47.8% (21)
53.3% (1) 5v5 Unblocked shot attempt % 47.0% (26)
9.6% (6) 5v5 Shooting % 9.7 (5)
.921 (13) 5v5 Save % .905 (29)
Sebastian Aho, 22 G Leader Boone Jenner, 22
Sebastian Aho, Tony DeAngelo, 31 A Leader Jakub Voracek, 35
Sebastian Aho, 53 P Leader Boone Jenner, 41
Ian Cole, 62 PIM Leader Andrew Peeke, 34
17-4-2 Home / Road 13-13-0
6-2-2 Last 10 9-1-0

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets

Patrik Laine Boone Jenner Jakub Voracek
Gus Nyquist Jack Roslovic Oliver BJORKSTRAND
Max Domi Sean Kuraly Yegor Chinakhov
Brendan Gaunce Cole Sillinger Justin Danforth
Vladislav Gavrikov Andrew Peeke
Dean Kukan Adam Boqvist
Gavin Bayreuther Gabriel Carlsson
Jean-Francois Berube
Elvis Merzlikins

Carolina Hurricanes

Andrei Svechnikov Sebastian Aho Teuvo Teravainen
Seth Jarvis Vincent Trocheck Martin Necas
Nino Niederreiter Jordan Staal Jesper Fast
Steven Lorentz Jesperi Kotkaniemi Jordan Martinook
Jaccob Slavin Brett Pesce
Brady Skjei Jalen Chatfield
Ian Cole Ethan Bear
Frederik Anderson
Antti Raanta