Two Metropolitan division foes clash for the third time this season at Nationwide Arena in Columbus as the Hurricanes visit the Columbus Bluejackets.
Tale of the Tape:
The Jackets come in 15-8-1 good for second in the metro. Columbus is coming off a 3-1 loss to Carey Price and the Montreal Canadiens however, they’re 6-4-0 in their last 10 games and play very well at home and against their division. The Jackets are 8-4-0 on home ice and 4-2-0 against division foes. With Bobrovsky anchoring the backend the Jackets come into tonight’s game allowing the 3rd fewest goals (2.38)
The Hurricanes were able to get back on track after two lopsided losses to the Rangers and Leafs. The Canes allowed 11 total goals over those two games but bounced back with a solid 4-3 shootout win over the defending Western conference champs the Nashville Predators. Scott Darling also bounced back as the first year starter stopped 32 shots against the Preds after giving up six goals on 27 shots against the Rangers. The Hurricanes allow the second fewest shots on goal in the league which could boast well against the Jackets 21st ranked offense.
Thus far the teams have split two games with the Jackets winning a tight 2-1 contest in overtime at PNC Arena. Sonny Milano scored twice including the game winner, Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 37 of 38 shots for the win. Jeff Skinner had the lone tally for Carolina while Scott Darling stopped 25 of 27 shots in defeat
In the team’s next meeting the Canes prevailed 3-1 at Nationwide Arena. Cam Ward turned away 25 shots, Jordan Staal scored twice and the Canes secured a 3-1 victory. Bobrovsky was sharp again stopping 26 of 28 shots. The reigning Vezina trophy winner is 9-6-0 lifetime versus the Canes with a .931 save percentage
Projected Starting Goaltenders:
Scott Darling was confirmed to start tonight. In his first season with the Canes Darling has appeared in 17 games (started 16) and is 7-6-4 with a 2.71 GAA and a .901 save percentage. Lifetime versus Columbus he’s played 2 games and is 0-0-1 with a 1.13 GAA and a .950 save percentage. An extremely small sample size but we’ll take it.
On back to back nights Joonas Korpisalo is expected to start after Bobrovsky started his 9th consecutive game. For Korpisalo, who hasn’t played since November 7th, he is 1-3-0 on the season with a 3.28 GAA and a .896 save percentage. In his young career Korpisalo is 1-0-2 against Carolina with a 2.27 GAA and a .920 save percentage
Numbers to Watch:
22: The number of points Teuvo Teravainen and Sebastian Aho have combined for (10 goals, 12 assists) in the Hurricanes’ last seven games
99: Bluejackets head coach John Tortorella is one win away from his 100th win as the Jackets head coach
699: That’s how many points Hurricane’s forward Justin Williams is sitting at coming into this game.