Columbus meets Washington on Saturday from Capital One Arena at 7pmET. Both teams played on Thursday and both received wins. These teams have already played twice this season, with Washington winning on the road, 4-0 and the Blue Jackets winning at home, 2-1 on Nov. 9.
Columbus wins without “Bob”
Columbus edged Nashville on Thursday, 4-3 in overtime without No. 1 goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, who was suspended for this game. The club said the netminder “failed to meet those expectations and values” after being pulled nearly 49 minutes into Tuesday 4-0 loss at Tampa Bay and allowed the fourth goal.
— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) January 11, 2019
Despite the controversy, the Blue Jackets won the game on Thursday over Nashville, led by two goals from Boone Jenner. Zach Werenski added two assists and coach Jon Tortorella picked up his 600th win. The Blue Jackets are now 9-3-1 in their last 13 games and 14-3-1 after a loss.
On the season, Artemi Panarin leads the Blue Jackets with 47 points, while Josh Anderson is tops with a +17. The rank ninth in the league in scoring with 3.2 goals per game and 15th in shots (32). On defense, they rank 19th in goals against (3.1), ninth in shots against (30.3) and 11th in penalty kill (80.9). They do struggle on the power play, ranking 29th at 14.2 percent.
Caps back on form
Washington lost three straight from Dec. 31-Jan. 6, but bounced back on Jan. 6 with a 3-2 win at Detroit. They followed that with a 5-3 win over Philadelphia and then knocked off Boston, 4-2 on Thursday night from Beantown. Alex Ovechkin scored two goals, Nicklas Backstrom scored the tiebreaking goal in the third period and Jakub Vrana added his 15th goal of the season. The Caps sit at 27-12-3 with 58 points to lead Pittsburgh atop of the Metropolitan Division. They are also second in the Eastern Conference, tied with Toronto at 58 points, 12 behind first-place Tampa Bay.
Ovechkin is having another banner season with 32 goals and 17 assists. Defenseman Michal Kempny leads in +/- with 28. Even though Braden Holtby is expected to start, backup Phoenix Copley leads with a 2.59 goals against average. Overall, the Caps rank sixth in goals per game with 3.5 and 15th in power play at 21.2 percent. They do struggle on face-offs, ranking 31st at 46.2. On defense, they rank 16th in goals against (2.9) and are 24th in penalty kill (78.1).
- Home team is 1-7 last 8 in this series.
- 8-3 last 11 overall.
- 5-2 last 7 road games.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
For whatever reason, the road team is 7-1 in this series. Columbus is a very good team on the road, going 13-7-1. Washington is 13-6-1 at home but they are actually better on the road. I like the Blue Jackets here on the money line, whether Bobrovsky plays or not.
Prediction: Columbus +123
Full-Game Total Pick
These teams have played unders in two straight games. Washington is struggling on the power play so they are not putting up monster offensive numbers. They are good in net with Holtby or Copley and defensively, they are coming on. Columbus is a quality defensive team that usually pushes Washington to their limits.
Prediction: Under 6