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Winning 'contagious' for Hurricanes, Blue Jackets

by Kurt Dusterberg /

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Columbus Blue Jackets and Carolina Hurricanes have played themselves into the thick of the Eastern Conference race on the strength of winning streaks.

The Blue Jackets saw their eight-game streak snapped in a 5-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday, but they will have the chance to recapture the feeling against the Hurricanes on Monday.

"It's contagious," Columbus forward Nathan Horton said. "You come to the rink and you know you're going to win. That's the good feeling about winning. When you lose after a long streak, you want to get back on the horse and in the win column."

The Hurricanes are riding a stretch of three in a row, but they also have a five-game winning streak under their belts from Dec. 31-Jan. 9. Hurricanes captain Eric Staal feels there is no substitute for stringing wins together.

"It's huge," Staal said. "Not only in-game, but from game to game, it's momentum. When you have it, you want to keep it as long as you can. We've got a good vibe going right now. It's about keeping that ball rolling."

Columbus defenseman Cody Goloubef will make his season debut, replacing David Savard, who is out with an illness for the second straight game.

Here are the projected lineups for Carolina and Columbus.


Nick Foligno - Ryan Johansen - RJ Umberger

Boone Jenner - Artem Anisimov - Nathan Horton

Matt Calvert - Brandon Dubinsky - Cam Atkinson

Derek MacKenzie - Mark Letestu - Corey Tropp

Jack Johnson - James Wisniewski

Ryan Murray - Nikita Nikitin

Fedor Tyutin - Cody Goloubef

Sergei Bobrovsky

Curtis McElhinney

Scratched: Tim Erixon

Injured: Marian Gaborik (broken collarbone), Jared Boll (ankle surgery), Blake Comeau (knee sprain)


Jiri Tlusty - Eric Staal - Alexander Semin

Jeff Skinner - Jordan Staal - Elias Lindholm

Drayson Bowman - Manny Malhotra - Nathan Gerbe

Tuomo Ruutu - Riley Nash - Radek Dvorak

Andrej Sekera - Justin Faulk

Ron Hainsey - John-Michael Liles

Mike Komisarek - Jay Harrison

Anton Khudobin

Justin Peters

Scratched: Brett Bellemore

Injured: Patrick Dwyer (lower body), Cam Ward (lower body)

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