Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#31 Columbus Blue Jackets vs.
#32 Ottawa Senators
Saturday, December 14, 2019 at 1:05pm EST
Canadian Tire Cenre, Ontario
Written by Chris Kubala

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#31 Columbus
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It’s a battle of Eastern Conference teams on the ice north of the border in matinee weekend action. The Columbus Blue Jackets are on the road as they travel to face the Ottawa Senators Saturday afternoon. Columbus was dropped 1-0 in overtime on the road by Pittsburgh Thursday night. Ottawa was beaten 3-2 in overtime on the road by Montreal in their previous game Wednesday night. The Blue Jackets have won the last five meetings between the teams, including a 1-0 home victory on November 25 in the first matchup this season.

Columbus Blue Jackets Looking to Get Back on Track

Columbus suffered their fifth loss in six games as they were upended on the road by the Penguins. The Blue Jackets enter this game seventh in the Metropolitan Division, 11 points behind Pittsburgh and Carolina, who are tied for the guaranteed playoff spot, and 22 behind the Capitals for the division lead. Columbus is 29th in scoring as they average 2.45 goals per game this season. The Blue Jackets are tied for 16th in goals against as they allow three goals per contest this year. Columbus is 18th on the power play as they convert 18 percent of their chances with the man advantage. The Blue Jackets have struggled in shorthanded situations as they are 19th in penalty killing by getting through 79.5 percent of those situations this year.

In their last game, the Blue Jackets were unable to generate any offense and it cost them the game. Columbus was outshot 12-6 in the opening period with neither team lighting the lamp. The second period saw the Blue Jackets outshot 6-5 with the game remaining scoreless after 40 minutes of action. In the final period, Columbus was outshot by a 12-6 margin but the game remained even at zero at the end of regulation. During the extra session, the Blue Jackets were outshot 2-0 and gave up the winning goal in overtime to take the OT loss. Joonas Korpisalo made 31 saves in the loss for Columbus, who was outshot 32-17 in the contest.

Ottawa Senators Try to Defend Home Ice

Ottawa came up on the short end of the game against Montreal in their last game but did manage to earn a point in the process. The Senators are seventh in the Atlantic Division, eight points behind Montreal for the final guaranteed playoff spot and 18 back of division leader Boston entering Monday. Ottawa is 22nd in the league in goals for as they average 2.69 goals per contest this season. The Senators are tied for 19th in the league as they allow 3.09 goals per game on the year. Ottawa is last in the league with the man advantage as they have converted 9.8 percent (10 of 102) of their chances on the power play this season. The Senators are 14th in penalty killing as they have successfully killed off 82.1 percent of their shorthanded situations this year: they have six shorthanded goals this season.

In their last game, the Senators rallied late to force overtime and then fell short in overtime though they did get a point in the contest. Ottawa held a 12-11 edge in shots in the opening period but trailed 1-0 after 20 minutes of play. The Senators held a 14-9 edge in shots in the second period but the stanza was scoreless, leaving them down 1-0 after 40 minutes. In the third period, Ottawa had an 11-8 edge in shots and outscored Montreal 2-1 to send the game to overtime. After giving up a goal in the opening minute of play in the third period to trail 2-0, Ottawa rallied. Brady Tkachuk got Ottawa on the board with his 11th of the year, on the power play, at 4:30 off assists from Tyler Ennis and Thomas Chabot to make it a 2-1 game. Connor Brown tied the game with his fourth of the year at 13:05 off an assist from Tkachuk. That sent the game to overtime. In the extra session, the Senators gave up the lone shot of the period and it lit the lamp, sending Ottawa to the loss. Anders Nilsson made 26 saves in the loss for Ottawa, who held a 37-29 edge in shots in the game.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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Both teams have had their issues putting the puck in the net this season. Columbus has been better on the offensive end on the road as we saw them put up five goals on Washington but they were blanked by Pittsburgh. Ottawa has been up and down this season but their young guys are improving by the game. The Senators are decent at home this season with an 8-5-0 mark on the year while Columbus has struggled to a 4-6-4 mark on the road. Until we see the Blue Jackets find a little more consistency, this one ends up going toward the hosts.

Prediction: Ottawa Senators -110

Full-Game Total Pick

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Columbus has had their struggles on the road this season with their 4-6-4 mark. The Blue Jackets have been outscored by 13 (47-34) as the visiting team despite a +5 shot differential (470-465) in those games. That's a total of 81 goals, or a 5.79 goal per game average on the year. Ottawa has a +9 goal differential (40-31) at home this season with a -1 shot differential (405-404) in those contests. That's 71 goals, or a 5.46 goal per game average. Will we expect much more offensively from either squad here?

The under is 4-1 in the Blue Jackets' last five games against Eastern Conference foes and 6-3 in their last nine overall. Ottawa has seen the under go 8-4 in their last 12 home games vs. the Blue Jackets. This one ends up under the total when all is said and done as the Blue Jackets continue to struggle offensively

Prediction: Under 6

Half-Time Side Pick

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Columbus has held the lead after one period just three times in their 14 road games this season. On the plus side, they've trailed just three times as eight of their contests have been even after 20 minutes. Ottawa has led after one period six times this season at home and been tied in five other games. The Senators have trailed just twice after 20 minutes this season on home ice. Ottawa has been tough at home as Boston found out earlier this week. Give the Senators the edge after 20 minutes of play.

Prediction: 1st Period Ottawa Senators

Half-Time Total Bet

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Columbus is even in goals in the first period (11-11) on the road this season with a +23 shot differential (169-146) in the opening 20 minutes. The Blue Jackets have seen an average of 1.57 goals per game in the first period of their road games. Ottawa holds a +7 edge in goals (14-7) at home in the opening 20 minutes of action this season and a +22 shot differential (180-158) on the year. The Senators see an average of 1.62 goals per game in the first period at home. This one ends up under the mark after 20 minutes in a low-scoring affair.

Prediction: 1st Period Under
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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.