GAME 45: BLUE JACKETS VS. HURRICANES
NATIONWIDE ARENA, 5 P.M.
TV: FOX SPORTS OHIO / FOX SPORTS GO
RADIO: 97.1 FM & BLUEJACKETS.COM
SETTING THE STAGE: If there's a theme for the current week of the Blue Jackets' schedule, it would be familiarity.
For the second time in five days, they will face the Carolina Hurricanes at Nationwide Arena. The first meeting was a 4-1 win for the Blue Jackets (Tuesday night), fueled by a big offensive performance from the line of Boone Jenner, Brandon Dubinsky and Cam Atkinson and highlighted by the return of Sergei Bobrovsky. Columbus scored four unanswered goals after Hurricanes rookie Sebastian Aho opened the scoring late in the first period.
The Hurricanes will fly into Columbus on Friday night after facing the Pittsburgh Penguins on home ice at PNC Arena, where they've played exceptionally well all season long. Carolina is hanging around the playoff picture and, with a big weekend, can climb above the bar and get into one of the Eastern Conference's wild card spots.
While the Blue Jackets experienced a goaltender shuffle last week, the Hurricanes are expected to get a third different goalie into game action on Saturday afternoon in Columbus. Cam Ward started Tuesday and was lifted in favor of Alex Nedeljkovic (who made 17 saves in relief), and recently recalled Michael Leighton is slated to face the Blue Jackets.
NOTEWORTHY NEWS: Columbus recalled forward Markus Hannikainen from Cleveland on Friday morning. He will play Saturday vs. Carolina, John Tortorella said, and Matt Calvert will be a healthy scratch. David Savard missed the majority of the third period on Thursday with an undisclosed injury. It's possible that both Dalton Prout and Scott Harrington could be in the lineup.
PROJECTED CBJ LINEUP:
Saad - Wennberg - Foligno
Jenner - Dubinsky - Atkinson
Hannikainen - Karlsson - Anderson
Hartnell - Sedlak - Gagner
Werenski - Jones
Johnson - Prout
Harrington - Murray