The Minnesota Wild will host the Columbus Blue Jackets in an inter-conference clash Saturday night from the Xcel Energy Center. The Blue Jackets defeated the Devils on Tuesday before hosting the Canadiens on Friday, and the Wild were blanked 3-0 by the Ducks on Thursday night. The Blue Jackets tallied a 4-2 home win over the Wild in the lone meeting this season.
Blue Jackets Aim for Second Win Against Wild
The Columbus Blue Jackets will be targeting their second win against Minnesota this season. They registered a 4-2 home win back on November 29th. Blue Jackets’ point leader Artemi Panarin is red-hot, amassing nine points over his last eight games. The 27-year old left-winger scored in the Blue Jackets win against Minnesota earlier this season, and he is up to 52 points on the season.
Cam Atkinson is also locked in, riding a four game point streak which included his 27th goal of the season in Tuesday’s win over the Devils. The 29-year old right-winger has four points in his last two games, and he is second in team scoring with 28 points. Columbus has been one of the best road teams in the NHL, sporting a 14-7-1 record away from home.
— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) January 17, 2019
The Blue Jackets could opt with either Joonas Korpisalo or Sergei Bobrovsky in the second game of a back-to-back set. Korpisalo holds a 9-2-2 record with a 2.94 GAA, while Bobrovsky stands at 19-13-1 with a 2.93 GAA on the season. Columbus is scoring an average of 3.3 goals, good for ninth in the NHL. They are allowing an average of 3 goals, placing them 20th overall.
Wild Blanked by Ducks
The Minnesota Wild will wrap up a three game road trip in this one. They opened their homestand with a 3-2 win over the Kings, following by a 4-0 defeat to the Ducks on Thursday night to fall to 12-9-2-1 on home ice this season. Wild’ point leader Zach Parise was held off the scoresheet for the second straight game in the defeat. The 34-year old left-winger has tallied eight points in nine games on the month, and he is up to 41 points on the season. Parise scored in the loss to Columbus earlier this season.
Mikael Granlund is stuck in a slump, going five consecutive games without recording a single point, and he only has two points on the month. The six-year veteran center has 12 goals along with 27 assists on the season. The Wild now stand at 5-5 in their last 10 games overall.
Minnesota is expected to send Devan Dubnyk between the pipes in this one. The 32-year old goalie hasn’t been quiet as sharp recently, and he now owns a 2.64 GAA and a .912 save percentage accompanied with a 17-16-3 record. The Wild are only averaging 2.8 goals on the season, ranking them 26th in the NHL. They are holding opponents to an average of 2.9 goals, good for 11th in the NHL.
The Minnesota Wild are:
- 1-5 in their last 6 home games against the Blue Jackets.
- 0-6 in their last 6 games against the Metropolitan division.
- 2-6 in their last 8 home games.
The Columbus Blue Jackets are:
- 4-1 in their last 5 games against the Wild.
- 4-0 in their last 4 games overall.
- 5-0 in their last 5 games against the Central division.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I am siding with the Blue Jackets in this contest. The Wild are playing inconsistent hockey, and they have now dropped three out of their last four games overall. Their goaltending hasn’t been nearly as effective, allowing a total of 17 goals in their last four games.
Furthermore, the Blue Jackets have won four consecutive games heading into Friday’s game against Montreal. They are in a groove offensively, averaging 3.5 goals in their last ten games, and they feature a 14-7-1 road record on the season.
Prediction: Columbus Blue Jackets
Full-Game Total Pick
The over is a solid option in this one. The Blue Jackets have netted at least four goals in three out of their last four games heading into Friday, and as mentioned the Wild defense hasn’t been as sharp, plus the over is 4-1-1 in the Blue Jackets’ last six games against a team with a losing record.
In addition, I expect the Wild to post a few goals on home ice against a Columbus team that has allowed an average of 3.1 goals in their last ten games, plus the under is 5-2-1 in the Wild’ last eight games against a team with a winning percentage above .600.
Full-Game Prop Bet
I am going with the over on the Blue Jackets team total. Columbus was able to score four goals in their lone meeting against Minnesota this season, and they are in a groove offensively, scoring a combined 18 goals in their last five games. Also, Minnesota has allowed at least three goals in three out of their last four games.
Prediction: Blue Jackets Team Total: Over
Half-Time Side Pick
I am staying with Columbus on the first period line. The Wild’ lowest scoring period occurs in the first frame where they have only scored 35 goals, while conceding 48 goals. Also, the Blue Jackets have accumulated a solid 49 goals in the first period this season.