The Columbus Blue Jackets and the Carolina Hurricanes square off at PNC Arena on Wednesday to begin their seasons. The Hurricanes won three of the four games between the teams last season, including a 4-0 victory in their final meeting in February. Nino Niederreiter led Carolina with two points (1G 1A). Frederik Andersen saved 19 shots to earn the shutout win.
Columbus averaged 3.15 goals per game last season, 14th in the NHL, and they are taking on a Hurricanes team that allowed 2.44 goals a game (1st). Meanwhile, Carolina found the net 3.38 times a game on average, ninth in the league, and the Blue Jackets allowed opponents to score 3.62 goals per game (28th). The Blue Jackets converted 18.64% of their power play opportunities (24th), while Carolina’s 88.04% penalty kill percentage ranked as the best. The Hurricanes scored on 21.98% of their power play chances (13th). Columbus’ PK% of 78.57 ranked No. 20.
LAST SEASON’S TOP PERFORMERS:
With 62 points last season, Jakub Voracek was the top skater for the Blue Jackets. He had six goals and 56 assists in 79 games. In the net, Elvis Merzlikins (27-23-7) was Columbus’ top goaltender. He had a 3.22 GAA and a .907% save percentage. Sebastian Aho led the Hurricanes in scoring a season ago with 81 points. He played 79 games, scoring 37 goals and providing 44 assists. Andersen (35-14-3) had the best goals against average for Carolina at 2.17, second-best in the league. He had a save percentage of .922%, third-best.
SportsTips’ NHL Pick:
Columbus Blue Jackets (+200)
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*Odds correct at time of publication, courtesy of BetMGM.