Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Carolina Hurricanes Pick & Prediction FEBRUARY 29th 2024

The Carolina Hurricanes will look to extend their road point streak to five games on Thursday when they oppose the Columbus Blue Jackets to conclude a three-game trek.

Carolina benefited from an unconventional goal scored by Stefan Noesen with just under nine minutes remaining in the third period to record a 3-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday in Saint Paul, Minn. The puck caromed off Noesen’s face and into the net.

“We needed to get some of those (fluky goals). We haven’t had any in forever,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “That was nice to see. Eventually they kind of even out, supposedly, but I think we’re still due a few more of those. But we’ll take it.”

Captain Jordan Staal collected a goal and an assist for Carolina, which overcame a pair of one-goal deficits to improve to 3-0-1 in its past four road games and 5-1-1 in its past seven games overall.

“Any time you go down and you’re able to battle back, it’s good,” Hurricanes defenseman Jaccob Slavin said. “A confidence boost to know that you can do it, that you can come from behind and squeak out two points. It’s good for the team, good for our confidence, but we can be better, too.”

Pyotr Kochetkov, who made 28 saves on Thursday, has turned aside 214 of 226 shots over his past eight games (.947 save percentage). He made 21 saves in a 3-2 home win over Columbus on Nov. 26.

“You just watch him and I feel like he grows every week, to be honest,” teammate Andrei Svechnikov said of Kochetkov. “He gets more experience and he feels confident. He’s very calm. … He’s just focusing on every game, every moment, and using the opportunity.”

Svechnikov recorded a goal and an assist in the first encounter vs. the Blue Jackets. He also scored a goal on Tuesday, giving him five points (two goals, three assists) in his past six games and moving him within one point of 300 for his career.

Columbus dropped the second half of a home-and-home series against the Rangers in New York on Wednesday.

Cole Sillinger scored early in the third period and won 11 of 15 faceoffs in the 4-1 setback for the Blue Jackets, who have lost five of their past eight games.

“It’s uplifting when anyone scores, but we obviously need more than one to beat that team,” Sillinger told Bally Sports Columbus.

Elvis Merzlikins made 26 saves on Wednesday and turned aside 40 in the previous encounter with Carolina. He likely may take a seat in favor of Daniil Tarasov with the Blue Jackets playing on back-to-back nights.

Tarasov has stopped 62 of 66 shots over his past two games after being pierced for five goals in a 6-3 setback in Ottawa on Feb. 13.

Columbus’ Johnny Gaudreau collected a goal and an assist in the previous meeting with the Hurricanes. He leads the team in assists (34) and points (42).

Kirill Marchenko, who also tallied vs. Carolina, has 17 goals on the season to trail only captain Boone Jenner (18) for the team lead.

–Field Level Media

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