Carolina Hurricanes (21-15-7) at Columbus Blue Jackets (29-9-4)
|Date & Time||Tuesday January 17, 2017, 7:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Columbus Blue Jackets -172 / Carolina Hurricanes +138 --- Over/Under:
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The Carolina Hurricanes look for their fifth win in a row as they head into Ohio to do battle with the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night.
The Hurricanes are starting to turn a corner in the Metropolitan division as they aim to chase down the rets of the pack that includes the surprising Blue Jackets who are in a battle with the Penguins and Capitals for top spot in the division, a place they retake with a win tonight. Carolina has ripped off four straight wins and are hoping to keep their offensive momentum going as they take on one of the league’s best goaltenders in Sergei Bobrovsky who has played this way into the Vezina Trophy conversation and gives the Jackets an edge over Cam Ward who is having a nice season in his own right. The Canes are 4-1 in their last five games against a team with a winning record and their show down with the Jackets certainly fits that bill as they are out for their 30th victory of the season.
The Blue Jackets have been the surprise of the league this season as they have gone from drafting third overall in last year’s draft to top spot in the league standings at the turn of the calendar and while they have cooled off lately following their 16 game winning streak they are still very much in the thick of things in the race for the Metro crown. The Jackets did have a lot of hype last season as many expected they would be a dark horse contender in the Eastern Conference thanks to a playoff berth the year previous, but inconsistent play and injured marred those hopes and left them with a very disappointing campaign. The table has certainly turned this year as they were expected to be a basement dweller and barring a collapse they should have no issues qualifying for the playoffs this season.
The Hurricanes are 3-8 in their last 11 against the Metro and 4-1 in their last five after scoring five or more goals in their previous game while the Jackets are 23-7 in their last 30 overall and 8-0 in their last eight games playing on two day’s rest. Both of these teams to me are overrated so the play comes down to goaltending and while Ward has been solid at times I like Bobrovsky better and the Jackets should win in regulation.