Carolina Hurricanes: 3 ways to continue momentum from win over Pens

PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 04: Sebastian Aho #20 of the Carolina Hurricanes celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal in the third period during the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG PAINTS Arena on January 4, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 04: Sebastian Aho #20 of the Carolina Hurricanes celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal in the third period during the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG PAINTS Arena on January 4, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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PITTSBURGH, PA – JANUARY 04: Sebastian Aho #20 of the Carolina Hurricanes celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal in the third period during the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG PAINTS Arena on January 4, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – JANUARY 04: Sebastian Aho #20 of the Carolina Hurricanes celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal in the third period during the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG PAINTS Arena on January 4, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

Needing some points to keep a hold on the last wildcard spot in the conference, the Carolina Hurricanes could use a Jan. 6 win over the Boston Bruins.

The Carolina Hurricanes notched the biggest win of the 2017-18 campaign, so far, by shutting out the Pittsburgh Penguins on Jan. 4. That win moved the Canes above the Pens in the Eastern Conference wildcard race, for the playoffs, putting them one point ahead. Yet, there’s still a ton of work left to be done.

Pittsburgh should put it all together at some point. NHL fans can see how the Washington Capitals caught fire in the middle of the season, behind the pace of Alex Ovechkin. Moreover, the Metropolitan Division is extremely competitive, with many of the same teams at the top from last season.

Not only are the Caps still at the top, the Columbus Blue Jackets and New York Rangers still look to seal up playoff berths as well. Right now, the Canes have 46 points. That puts them in the final wildcard spot in the East. Yet, the Pens, New York Islanders, and Philadelphia Flyers are all hot on Carolina’s trail.

Only nine points separates the top team from the bottom in the Metro. Meanwhile, the Atlantic Division has a much greater spread, of more than 30 points, between the top team (Tampa Bay Lightning) and the bottom team (Buffalo Sabres).

The Canes have a chance to increase security on the hold on a playoff spot in the East, on Jan. 6. With a win over the Boston Bruins, on Jan. 6, the Canes could move within one point of the Jackets in the Metro standings. Building the confidence gained from the 4-0 win over the Pens, on Jan. 4, is key.

Here’s 3 ways for the Carolina Hurricanes to continue the momentum from the win over the Pittsburgh Penguins.