The Carolina Hurricanes and Columbus Blue Jackets start a two-game set at Nationwide Arena on Sunday (3 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN, FS-O, FS-CR, NHL.TV) in the “NHL Network Showcase presented by SAP.”
The Hurricanes (6-2-0) have won five of their past six games to climb to fourth in the Discover Central Division.
The third-place Blue Jackets (5-4-3) are 2-2-0 in their past four games but have gotten an offensive boost from newcomers Jack Roslovic and Patrik Laine. The forwards, acquired in a trade with the Winnipeg Jets on Jan. 23, each scored a goal in a 4-3 win against the Dallas Stars on Thursday. Laine has played two games for Columbus while Roslovic has played five.
Here are 3 storylines to watch:
Laine getting comfortable
Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said he’s been impressed by the work ethic he’s seen from Laine. “There’s effort in his game,” Tortorella said. “He’s trying to do too much and I think that’s just how he’s made. I think that’s why he’s one of the best goal-scorers in the League, because he wants to push the limits as far as what he wants to do.”
Svechnikov carrying Hurricanes
Andrei Svechnikov is off to the best start of his three-season NHL career, leading the Hurricanes with nine points (six goals, three assists) in eight games. The forward has scored six of the Hurricanes’ 24 goals this season. It took Svechnikov 13 games to score six goals last season.
Carolina in control
The Hurricanes have controlled 56.5 percent of the shot attempts at 5-on-5, tied with the Colorado Avalanche for first in the NHL. Because of that puck possession dominance, they’re allowing an average 26 shots on goal per game, third fewest in the NHL, and 2.38 goals per game, the fifth fewest.