After a little rest, we get to see the Carolina Hurricanes in action tonight as they take on the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight at PNC Arena. Carolina gets a chance to extend their lead at the top of the Metropolitan Division after the Pittsburgh Penguins were defeated. Tonight will not be an easy game, but a chance to move five points clear at the top of the Metropolitan could start to put the Division title up in the rafters for next season already.
Carolina will also get a chance to take the lead of the Eastern Conference as the Florida Panthers were defeated last night at the hands of these Columbus Blue Jackets. Columbus was able to put six up on the high-flying Panthers, so we know that this Jackets team can beat the best of the best. In the last meeting between the Canes and Jackets, Columbus put six up in Raleigh to avenge the Canes’ massive comeback on New Year’s Day.
With the Carolina Hurricanes being short on the backend, this is going to be a difficult task. Two of the Canes’ top 7 defensemen are facing lengthy spells out of the lineup, and the Carolina Hurricanes are faced with the daunting task of overcoming some difficult opponents in the absence of their blueliners. With these key absentees, it’s going to be difficult, but good teams always find a way to win.
Columbus has gotten hot recently, beating Toronto and Florida in their last couple of games as they ride a 4 game winning streak into this one and are 8-2 in their last 10. It’s no certainty that Carolina will beat this Columbus Blue Jackets team, but this is a game in Raleigh against a team on the second half of a back-to-back traveling up from Florida. They’re going to be tired and Carolina needs to find a way to win.
Columbus is trying to force their way back into the playoff picture, and Carolina is trying to open up the gap between themselves and the chasing pack in the Metropolitan, as well as surpass the Florida Panthers at the top of the Eastern Conference. It’s going to be a fun game as the Jackets try to tie the season series in the final regular-season meeting between these two franchises.