Jackets, 'Canes powerless so far this season
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- There's a power struggle taking place that the Columbus Blue Jackets and Carolina Hurricanes are trying to resolve.
Friday night's game between the Metropolitan Division teams at Nationwide Arena matches two of the NHL's worst power plays.
The Blue Jackets (9-6-1) are last in the league, with five power-play goals and a 10.4 conversion percentage.
The Hurricanes (5-5-3) rank three spots higher at 28th in the 31-team league with six man-advantage goals and 13.3 success rate.
Both teams are hoping to find answers to unlock their mysterious lack of power-play production in the first game of a back-to-back for the Hurricanes and Blue Jackets.
The Blue Jackets have failed to find the net on their last 13 shots on the power play, and they're 0 of 9 on man-advantage chances in the past three games.
A tendency to over-pass appears to be one of the issues affecting their power play.
"The places to shoot pucks are there," Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said. "We just want to make an extra pass. That frustrates you even more, because it's one of those (where) you're on the bench and you're ready for a shot, and you see a pass."
Tortorella has searched for the right personnel combinations and still hasn't found them. Top-line center Alexander Wennberg, who scored two man-advantage goals last season, has not played on the power play in the last two games.
"I'm not looking to kick him," Tortorella said. "I'm looking to try to help him, because I think if he gets his game back, we've got something going up the middle of the ice. So we'll see where it goes."
Wennberg said, "It's up to me to show it, then, right?"
Tortorella has allowed defenseman Zach Werenski to move up into the offensive zone in the past two games in an attempt to utilize his scoring ability.
"I'm used to (playing) the top and seeing everybody, so my options are a little bit different," Werenski said. "I really like it. I think it's just to get you shooting more and just being a threat to shoot from there."
The Hurricanes' primary offense threat through the early part of the season is forward Justin Williams. The 36-year-old veteran has accounted for four power-play points.
Williams leads Carolina with 11 points overall in 13 games. He scored an empty-net goal and had an assist Tuesday night in the Hurricanes' 3-1 victory over the Florida Panthers that ended a four-game winless streak.
"We've got to find a way to score and be a little more efficient offensively and get our power play going," Hurricanes coach Bill Peters said. "Once we do that, we'll be dangerous each and every night."
Hurricanes left winger Teuvo Teravainen expects a tight game against the Blue Jackets, who won 2-1 a month ago in the teams' first meeting of the season on a goal by Sonny Milano at 4:29 of overtime
"I think it's going to be fast paced out there," Teravainen said. "Both teams play a good team game. I don't know if there will be too many scoring chances, but I think the power play has to be the key.
"We might need one lucky bounce. It's been rough lately. We haven't scored many goals on the power play. I think if you have to win the games you have to score one or two."
The Blue Jackets have lost three straight games and are 4-5-1 in their past 10. They travel to Detroit to face the Red Wings on Saturday night.
Sergei Bobrovsky is slated to start in goal after backup Joonas Korpisalo got the call on Tuesday night in a 3-1 loss at home to the Nashville Predators.
Because of injuries, Tortorella went with 11 forwards and seven defensemen Tuesday and could do so again depending on the availability of forward Zac Dalpe (upper body).
Dalpe, Wennberg and forward Nick Foligno didn't practice Thursday, but Wennberg and Foligno are expected to play.
Scott Darling is the Hurricanes' likely starter in goal for the second straight game. He also played in the first game against the Blue Jackets and made 25 saves.
Carolina activated veteran forward Lee Stempniak (upper body) on Thursday and sent him to the Carolina Checkers of the American Hockey League for conditioning. He is not expected to rejoin the Hurricanes in time for the second game of their back-to-back Saturday night in Chicago against the Blackhawks.
Updated November 9, 2017