Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#65 St. Louis Blues -115 vs.
#66 Columbus Blue Jackets 5.5
Friday, November 15, 2019 at 7:05pm EST
Nationwide Arena, Columbus
Written by Chris Kubala

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#65 St. Louis
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It’s an interconference contest on the ice from the Buckeye State. The defending champion St. Louis Blues are on the road as they travel to face the Columbus Blue Jackets Friday night. St. Louis was defeated 3-2 in a shootout at home by Arizona in their previous game Tuesday night. Columbus was defeated 3-2 in a shootout on the road against Montreal Tuesday night in their last contest. The Blues have taken four of the last five meetings, including a 4-3 overtime win in the first meeting this season, which came in St. Louis November 1.

St. Louis Blues Try to Start New Win Streak

St. Louis saw their seven-game win streak come to an end as they were upended at home in a shootout against an Arizona team playing the second game of a back to back set on the road. The Blues entered Thursday holding the top spot in the Central Division by four points over Colorado. St. Louis is 14th in the league in scoring as they put up 3.11 goals per game on the year. The Blues are 9th in goals against by allowing 2.74 goals per contest this year. St. Louis is tied for 3rd with the man advantage as the team converts 26.2 percent of their power-play chances this season. The Blues are tied for 16th in penalty killing as they successfully kill off 80.7 percent of their shorthanded situations this season.

In their last game, the Blues battled and went to the wire but ended up with only one point for their efforts. St. Louis was outshot 9-8 in the opening period but skated off with a 1-0 edge on the scoreboard. The Blues opened the scoring on Jaden Schwartz’s fourth of the year at 17:13 off assists from Brayden Schenn and Alex Pietrangelo. In the second period, the Blues held a 16-6 edge in shots with both teams scoring once, leaving St. Louis with a 2-1 lead after two periods. After Arizona tied the game, Colton Parayko’s first of the year at 15:21 off assists from Oskar Sundqvist and Ivan Barbashev gave St. Louis the lead again. In the third period, the Blues owned a 7-5 edge in shots but gave up the tying goal, sending the game to overtime. Neither side scored in the extra session despite the Blues holding a 4-2 edge in shots. During the shootout, St. Louis was outscored 2-0 to take the loss. Jordan Binnington made 20 saves for the Blues in the defeat. St. Louis owned a 35-22 in shots on goal.

Columbus Blue Jackets Looking for Offense

Columbus came up on the short end in Montreal to close a road trip, though they did earn a point in the contest. The Blue Jackets entered Thursday seventh in the Metropolitan Division, seven points behind Philadelphia and Carolina for the final guaranteed playoff spot and 16 back of Washington for the division lead. Columbus is 30th in scoring as they average 2.33 goals per game this season. The Blue Jackets are tied for 23rd in goals against as they allow 3.33 goals per contest this year. Columbus is 27th on the power play as they convert 13.6 percent of their chances with the man advantage. The Blue Jackets have struggled in shorthanded situations as they are 22nd in penalty killing by getting through 77.4 percent of those situations this year.

In their last game, the Blue Jackets continued their offensive struggles and it cost them a potential victory. Columbus owned a 15-11 edge in shots in the opening period and took a 1-0 lead to the dressing room. Eric Robinson scored his first of the year to open the scoring at 16:46 off assists from Emil Bernstrom and Zach Werenski. In the second period, the Blue Jackets were outshot 14-11 and neither team lit the lamp, leaving the score 1-0 after 40 minutes of play. The final period saw Columbus outshot 7-6 and outscored 2-1 to send the game to overtime. After Montreal tied the game, Werenski scored his fifth of the year off assists from Riley Nash and Cam Atkinson at 18:07 to give Columbus a 2-1 lead. Columbus gave up the tying goal in the final minute to force overtime. In the extra session, the Blue Jackets held a 3-0 edge in shots with neither team scoring to send the game to a shootout. Columbus was outscored 1-0 in the shootout to take the loss. Elvis Merzlikins made 30 saves in the loss for the Blue Jackets, who owned a 35-32 edge in shots. Joonas Korpisalo is expected to be in net for this contest.

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The Blue Jackets simply have struggled to put the puck in the net this season and that’s a major reason why the team is sputtering through the first six or seven weeks of the season. Columbus has to get things going in that regard if they hope to have any chance at getting back in the playoff picture. St. Louis had won seven straight games before getting upended by Arizona in a shootout. The Blues are still playing well at the moment as they have avoided a hangover after winning their first Stanley Cup a year ago. St. Louis should take advantage of the Blue Jackets’ offensive issues to get the win here.

Prediction: St. Louis Blues -133

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St. Louis relies more on a solid defensive zone presence and quality goaltending in order to win games. The Blues don't have to light the lamp a ton to beat opposing teams. St. Louis averages 3.30 goals per game on the road this season compared to their 2.89 goal per game mark at home on the season. The Blues catch a break, facing a Columbus team that is awful at scoring at home. On the season, the Blue Jackets have averaged a paltry 1.89 goals per game to this point. Will Columbus be able to do enough on both ends to come up with a victory?

The under has hit in 12 of the Blues' last 18 games in the month of November. Columbus has seen the under hit in four of their last five games overall and four of their last five in the month of November. Given the Blue Jackets' inability to score and St. Louis' tendencies to play defensively, this one ends up short of the mark in a 3-1 type of game.

Prediction: Under 5.5
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Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.