Columbus Blue Jackets (28-8-3-1 SU, 24-16 PL, 15-21-4-0 O/U) vs Florida Panthers (19-16-3-5 SU, 19-24 PL, 16-21-6 O/U)
When: 7:00 PM ET, Saturday, January 14, 2017
Where: BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida
Lines: Columbus -135/Florida +115
The Columbus Blue Jackets are struggling a bit at the moment as they have won just one of their last four games, prior to playing Tampa Bay on Friday night and they look to get back on track tonight when they invade BB&T Center to grapple with the Florida Panthers, who have a home game vs the Islanders of Friday night. The Under is 6-1 the last seven meeting between these teams here in Florida.
Blue Jackets Take Tough Loss At Carolina
The Columbus Blue Jackets had a nice 16 game win streak going, but since they they have dropped three of four games and have allowed five goals in all three losses. This team was very stingy during their win streak, but the luck in the crease seems to have run out of late. They will not be taking on a great offensive team in this one though. Their last game was a 5-3 loss at Carolina and scoring in the loss was Cam Atkinson, which was his team-leading 20th of the year, Josh Anderson, which was his 9th, and Brandon Saad, which was his 15th. They may still be a little flat coming off the long win streak, and will hope to get back on track at Tampa Bay on Friday night and if they can’t then tonight vs the Panthers.
Joonas Korpisalo is getting the start on Friday night, so Sergei Bobrovsky gets the nod in this one and he has gone 26-8 with a 2.00 GAA on the year, including 11-5 with a 2.19 GAA on the road, while vs the Panthers in his career he has gone 8-3 with a 2.02 GAA. The Blue Jackets come into this game ranked 3rd in the league in scoring at 3.33 gpg, while also ranking 12th in shots taken (30.2 spg) and 1st in power play conversions, converting on 25.8% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice they come in at 3rd in goals allowed, giving up 2.23 gpg, while also ranking 11th in shots allowed (29.7 spg) and 15th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 17.9% of their chances.
Panthers Need To Jumpstart Their Offense
The Florida Panthers are really struggling to score right now and they will hope to get it going vs a Columbus team that has given up plenty of goals of late. The Panthers have a home game vs the Islanders on Friday night and prior to that game they had scored just 2.0 gpg in their previous 10 games. If they don’t figure out their offense soon, then they will be in for a long rest of the year. They have been getting some solid play in the crease, but at some point they will need to score some goals. Leading the team in scoring this year has been Jonathan Marchessault and Vincent Trocheck, who both have 12 goals on the year, while Aleksander Barkov has nine on the year and both Jason Demers and Reilly Smith have eight. The panthers really need to find more consistent scoring options.
Roberto Luongo got the start vs the Islanders on Friday night, so getting the call here will be James Reimer, who is 6-9 with a 2.59 GAA on the year, including 2-4 with a 2.64 GAA here at home, while vs the Blue Jackets in his career he has gone 1-4 with a 4.05 GAA. Florida comes in ranked 27th in the league in scoring at 2.26 gpg, while also ranking 4th in shots taken (31.8 spg) and 24th in power play conversions, converting on 14.9% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice they have been solid so far as they come in ranked 10th in goals allowed, giving up just 2.53 gpg, while also ranking 22nd in shots allowed (31.0) and 5th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 14.9% of their chances.
- 1-4 their last five games in this series
- 10-4 in their last 14 Saturday games
The Blue Jackets have had their struggles of, but so have the Panthers. This is a real tough one, but I feel that they panthers can steal one at home vs the Blue Jackets, who have come back down to earth after their long win streak. The home team is 4-1 the last five games in this series and the Blue Jackets are 4-1 their last five games vs the Panthers. Both teams are playing on no rest and I will go with the team that doesn’t have to travel.