The Columbus Blue Jackets (1-1-0) take on the Carolina Hurricanes (1-0-0) at PNC Arena in a Metropolitan division matchup. Blue Jackets forward Josh Anderson will be making his season debut after starting the season with the Cleveland Monsters of the AHL for a conditioning stint. It is projected that Anderson will start on the right wing on the second line alongside Matt Calvert and Brandon Dubinsky. Forward Zac Dalpe and defenseman Scott Harrington are healthy scratches for Tuesday’s game, while Boone Jenner, Jordan Schroeder, and Sam Vigneault remain on the injured reserve. Hurricanes defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk was also ruled out for Tuesday’s matchup because of a concussion that he suffered in Saturday’s matchup against the Minnesota Wild. Sergei Bobrovsky and Scott Darling are projected to start in net for both teams. Here are my keys to a Blue Jackets victory over the Hurricanes.
- Strong defense
The Jackets’ defense needs to come out of the gates strong. In Carolina’s game against Minnesota on Saturday, they got 42 shots on net, 14 of those coming in the first period and 17 in the second. The Hurricanes have some very talented players in Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen. The first pairing of Werenski and Jones will have to step up big time to make sure Bobrobsky is not hung out to dry.
- Win faceoffs
The Blue Jackets sit 13th in the league in faceoff percentage, winning 50.9% of faceoffs over two games. In Carolina’s first and only game, they only won 44% of faceoffs. Nick Foligno will need to make sure he wins faceoffs, as he is primarily a winger and he is starting at first-line center, taking faceoffs against Hurricanes center Jordan Staal. Foligno has won 46.1% of his faceoffs during his 11-year career, while Jordan Stall has won about 51.5% of faceoffs in his 12-year career.
- Shoot the puck
Hurricanes goaltender Scott Darling let in four goals on just 27 shots against the Wild. All the Blue Jackets need to do is shoot the puck, as they sit at 11th in the league, averaging 35 shots for per game and only allowing an average of 29 per game over two games. Getting shots on net on Darling will be crucial to getting an early lead and expanding that lead.
These three very simple tips should lead to a Jackets’ victory on Tuesday to improve their record to 2-1.
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