Columbus at Carolina
When: 7:00 PM ET, Thursday, March 30, 2017
Where: PNC Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina
The Carolina Hurricanes have feasted on the competition during the team's impressive 12-game point streak (8-0-4), although veteran goaltender Cam Ward has his eyes set on a different dish on the menu. Ward looks to help the Hurricanes inch closer to a playoff berth in addition to set a franchise-record point streak on Thursday when they host the Columbus Blue Jackets.
"We're starving for the playoffs," said the 33-year-old Ward, who was with Carolina in its last playoff appearance in 2008-09. "We've been doing a good job of taking care of ourselves and each day trying to win the day." The approach has been working for the Hurricanes, who rebounded from a 4-3 overtime setback to Detroit on Monday to post a 4-1 triumph over the Red Wings the following night and move within four points of Boston for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference. Carolina isn't alone in carrying a 12-game point streak into Thursday's tilt -- goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky (NHL-best 41 victories) turned aside 41 shots in Tuesday's 3-1 win over Buffalo to improve to 10-0-2 in his last 12 outings and increase his save percentage to a stunning .959 in his last 16 starts for Columbus, which is five points behind first-place Washington in the Metropolitan.TV:
7 p.m. ET, FSN Ohio (Columbus), FSN Carolinas, NHL.TVABOUT THE BLUE JACKETS (49-19-7):
Although Columbus has already punched its postseason ticket, coach John Tortorella is worried his team's inconsistent offense could knock the club out of the playoffs. "I don't want to keep moving these things around," Tortorella said of potential line changes for the Blue Jackets, who have seen their fifth-ranked offense muster just seven goals during the last four games (2-1-1). "Our problem is sustaining some offense. ... We just have to keep managing it. I don't want to turn something into panic." Cam Atkinson, who ended a four-game point drought with his team-leading 34th goal and 61st point on Tuesday, has three points (one goal, two assists) versus Carolina this season.ABOUT THE HURRICANES (34-27-14):
Elias Lindholm (team-leading 32 assists) scored versus Detroit on Tuesday to collect his 12th point (five goals, seven assists) in his last 12 games. Defenseman Justin Faulk recorded his second straight multi-point performance by notching a pair of assists on Tuesday to increase his point total to five (two goals, three assists) in the past four games. "The only way to win this time of year is to have everybody contribute, and that's what's happening," Carolina coach Bill Peters said. "Guys have to do their role, exceed their roles, and that's happening."OVERTIME
1. Columbus veteran LW Scott Hartnell's last two goals came in a 3-2 win over Carolina on Jan. 21.
2. The Hurricanes also enjoyed a 12-game point streak from Oct. 12-Nov. 11, 2005, posting an 11-0-1 mark in that stretch.
3. Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno has been kept off the scoresheet in each of his last five outings overall and in all three encounters this season with Carolina.PREDICTION:
Hurricanes 3, Blue Jackets 2
Stats and Records