Tonight on the ice, a pair of teams from the Metro Division will square off as the Columbus Blue Jackets grapple with the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Blue Jackets enter this contest off a 6-4 home win over the Islanders, while the Hurricanes have a game in Buffalo on Friday night, so they will be playing on no rest. Goalie Probables: Sergei Bobrovsky will get the nod for the Blue Jackets in this one and he will be opposed by Cam Ward.
Blue Jackets Hang Six On the Islanders
The Columbus Blue Jackets had just come off a very bad 7-2 loss at home to the Edmonton Oilers, but they got back on track with a nice 6-4 home win over the Islanders. The Blue Jackets have now won three of their last four games and are now tied with the Washington Capitals at the top of the Metro Division standings. This team will battle all year for supremacy in the division and they will be very tough to beat if they start to get more offense, just like they have in the win over the Islanders. Scoring in the win was Zach Werenski, which was his 10th of the year, Markus Nutivaara, which was his 2nd, Pierre-Luc Dubois, which was his 6th, Seth Jones, which was his 4th, Nick Foligno, which was his 7th and Josh Anderson, which was his 12th and came as an empty-netter with just one second left in the game. The Jackets have gone 8-6 on the road so far. Grabbing the win against the Islanders was Sergei Bobrovsky, who stopped 21 of the 25 shots that he faced in the game to improve to 17-9 with a 2.27 GAA and a .923 save percentage on the year, while out on the road he has gone 7-4 with a 2.59 GAA and a .910 save percentage. In his career, he has gone 95-68 with a 2.46 GAA on the road and 122-88 with a 2.46 GAA against the Eastern Conference, while against the Hurricanes he has gone 9-6 with a 2.11 GAA.
The Blue Jackets have been a bit below average on offense so far as they come in ranked 20th in the league in scoring at 2.84 gpg, while also ranking 5th in shots taken (34.7 spg) and 31st in power play conversions, converting on 10.1% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been very good as they come in ranked 5th in goals allowed, giving up just 2.59 gpg, while also ranking 7th in shots allowed (30.3 spg) and 5th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 16.5% of their chances.
Hurricanes Need Offensive Help
Really, they need help all over, but it has to start with their offense. That offense is among the worst in the league and it has been a bit worse of late as they have averaged just 2.00 gpg over their last eight games. They are just 2-6 in those games and have allowed 3.13 gpg over that stretch, which isn’t horrible, but they just haven’t had the offense needed to make up for it. If they don’t start to get some offense, then they will continue to reside in the basement of the Metro Division. Leading the team in goals this year has been Jeff Skinner, who has 11, while no one else on the team has more than eight. The Hurricanes have gone 6-7 here at home. Scott Darling will be getting the nod in Buffalo on Friday night, so for this game, it will be Cam Ward and he has gone 5-3 with a 2.6 GAA and a .907 save percentage on the year overall, including 2-1 with a 2.69 GAA and a .915 save percentage here at home. In his career, he has gone 176-145 with a 2.56 GAA in his home games and 240-235 with a 2.67 GAA against the Eastern Conference, while against the Blue Jackets he has gone 7-6 with a 2.73 GAA.
Carolina has been a poor offensive team so far as they come in ranked 26th in the league in scoring 2.66 gpg, while also ranking 1st in shots taken (35.2 spg) and 28th in power play conversions, converting on 15.3% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been a bit below average so far as they come in ranked 19th in goals allowed, giving up 3.00 gpg, while also ranking 1st in shots allowed (28.9 spg) and 27th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 23.3% of their chances.
- 8-3 in their last 11 vs. the Eastern Conference
- 35-17 in their last 52 vs. a team with a losing record
- 2-5 in their last seven in the fourth game of a 4-in-6 situation
- 1-5 in their last six home games following a road trip of seven or more days
The Blue Jackets are off a good home win over the Islanders and they look to keep it going in this one against a Carolina team that has lost four of their last five games and will be playing this game on no rest. Sergei Bobrovsky has been a bit weaker on the road than at home, but still, he is taking on an offense that has averaged just 2.00 gpg in their last eight games. The Blue Jackets are the far better team in this one and they will prove it with a very nice road win over a tired team. Take Columbus in this one.