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Blue Jackets' playoff push continues vs. Hurricanes

by Eric Goodman

HURRICANES (29-30-9) at BLUE JACKETS (35-26-6)


Last 10: Carolina 3-7-0; Columbus 6-3-1

Season series: This is the fourth of five games between these Metropolitan Division teams. The Columbus Blue Jackets have taken two of three from the Carolina Hurricanes this season.

Big story: The Blue Jackets are in the thick of the Stanley Cup Playoff race in the Eastern Conference with points in seven of its past eight games (6-1-1). The Hurricanes continue to struggle with losses in nine of their past 12. Columbus is 7-1-0 in its past eight against Carolina.

Team Scope:

Hurricanes: Carolina hits the road Tuesday for a brief two-game trip and will try to turn things around after posting a 1-7-0 record in its past eight games away from PNC Arena. The Hurricanes seek to avoid a three-game losing streak after being defeated by the Edmonton Oilers, 2-1, at home Sunday.

Not much has been going right for the Hurricanes recently, including a power-play unit that has converted on one of its past 15 chances.

"There's been enough time," coach Kirk Muller said of the power play Sunday. "We changed personnel around and tried guys in different positions, but at the end of the day, it's about getting results. Obviously it hasn't been there."

Blue Jackets: Columbus has qualified for the playoffs just once in its first 12 NHL seasons, but the outlook is positive heading into the stretch run. The Blue Jackets (76 points) are in third place in the Metropolitan Division and hold their own fate for a playoff spot with 11 of their remaining 15 games against Eastern Conference teams.

Though it's easy for players to get caught up watching the game results of teams they are competing with for playoff spots, the Jackets are only focused on what they have control over.

"We want to worry about ourselves," left wing Matt Calvert said following practice Monday. "You're always worried about the other Eastern Conference teams, but we are coming to the rink and trying to win every day."

Who's hot: Hurricanes center Jordan Staal is in the midst of a six-game point streak with three goals and six assists. ... Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky is 3-0-1 in his past four starts with a 1.25 goals-against average and 0.958 save percentage.

Injury report: Hurricanes left wing Jiri Tlusty (lower-body injury) will not play Tuesday. Right wing Radek Dvorak (upper-body injury) is doubtful and defenseman John-Michael Liles (concussion) is out indefinitely. ... Blue Jackets right wing Jared Boll (ankle surgery) and defenseman Ryan Murray (knee surgery) are out.

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