Carolina Hurricanes vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Preview

JL Matthews

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Columbus, OH -- The Columbus Blue Jackets (13-12-7, 33pts) host the Carolina Hurricanes (20-7-3, 43pts) in the third game of their ongoing four-game series.

Columbus has won the first two games of the series in overtime, including a 3-2 shootout victory on Saturday night.

Saturday's loss was a tough one for the Canes, who led by a goal with less than a minute to play in regulation. To add insult to injury, a missed call on the final sequence put the game into overtime.

"We played a really good game [on Saturday]. [We] played exactly how we had to. For all intents and purposes, you could have looked at it as we won that game. I mean, that's the way I'm looking at it," Canes head coach Rod Brind'Amour said on Sunday.

"We know we put a good effort in [on Saturday]; we just came up a little short. We just want to build off of that, and hopefully, if we bring that same work ethic, that same mentality to these next couple of games, hopefully, the result will be a little different," Canes' defenceman Brady Skjei said.

Despite the tough break, the Canes need to sort out their scoring woes. After scoring three or more goals in seven-straight games, the Canes have now failed to score three or more goals in four-straight.

Lineup News

Petr Mrazek was a full participant in the Hurricanes' practice on Sunday. Although he is getting closer, Brind'Amour made it clear that Mrazek still has a way to go before getting back in net for a game.

"It's a good sign that we got him back out there [practicing]. I certainly don't think he's playing any time soon, but I think [it's a good first step]."

Vincent Trocheck was also at Canes' practice on Sunday, albeit wearing a yellow no-contact jersey.

Alex Nedeljkovic (6-2-2, .926 SV%, 2.16 GAA) will be in net for the Canes. The Ohio native has won five of his last seven starts.

The Canes' expected lines:

Forwards

Andrei Svechnikov — Jordan Staal — Jesper Fast

Nino Niederreiter — Sebastian Aho — Martin Necas

Brock McGinn — Jordan Martinook — Warren Foegele

Cedric Paquette — Morgan Geekie — Steven Lorentz

Defense

Jaccob Slavin — Dougie Hamilton

Brady Skjei — Brett Pesce

Haydn Fleury — Jake Bean

Goalies

Alex Nedeljkovic

James Reimer

Injuries: Petr Mrazek (hand surgery), Teuvo Teravainen (concussion), Vincent Trocheck (upper body), Jake Gardiner (back)

Columbus Leans on Jones

With their playoff hopes in the balance, the Blue Jackets have turned to their star defenceman, Seth Jones.

The 26-year-old American has come through for his team. Jones scored three goals in the two-game series in Raleigh, including a game-winner in overtime.

After their two wins in Raleigh, Columbus has now moved into a tie with the Chicago Blackhawks for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Central Division. Overall, they've secured at least a point in five-straight games.

"We've struggled in the overtimes and the shootouts, and we have found a way to get some points here," Columbus head coach John Tortorella said.

Despite Elvis Merzlikins first-star performance on Saturday, Joonas Korpisalo (8-9-5, .900 SV%, 2.97 GAA) will get the start for Columbus in net.

Columbus' expected lines:

Forwards

Max Domi — Jack Roslovic — Cam Atkinson

Oliver Bjorkstrand — Kevin Stenlund — Patrik Laine

Boone Jenner — Riley Nash — Nick Foligno

Eric Robinson — Ryan Macinnis — Stefan Matteau

Defense

Zach Werenski — Seth Jones

Vladislav Gavrikov — David Savard

Dean Kukan — Michael Del Zotto

Goalies

Joonas Korpisalo

Elvis Merzlinkins

Injuries: Gustav Nyquist (IR Shoulder), Emil Bemstrom (IR lower body)

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JL Matthews is a writer with interests spanning history, humor, tv/film, parenting, and more. His work has appeared in numerous publications, and he is a 6x Top Writer on Medium. Follow him on News Break, Medium, and Twitter for updates and latest work.

Raleigh, NC
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