Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#11 Columbus Blue Jackets 6 vs.
#12 Florida Panthers -160
Saturday, December 7, 2019 at 7:05pm EST
BB&T Center, Sunrise
Written by Valdis Pans



#11 Columbus
#12 Florida


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A three-game losing streak takes the Columbus Blue Jackets (7th in Metropolitan Division) to Florida, where the local Panthers (2nd in Atlantic) have split the first two fixtures of their current nine-game homestand…

Jackets Lose Third Straight

Three straight defeats (0-3-0) are currently spoiling the mood of the Columbus Blue Jackets (11-13-4), who most recently dropped a 3-2 decision against the New York Rangers at Nationwide Arena on Thursday. Cam Atkinson (5 goals, 16 points this year) opened the scoring midway through the first period before the Blueshirts netted three times ahead of the second intermission, with Seth Jones (4 markers, 16 points) remaining the only goalscorer in the final third, despite the Jackets outshooting New York 18-2. Columbus is 1-4-0 in its last five fixtures and 3-5-3 when playing on the road so far this year.

Goalie Joonas Korpisalo made 16 saves against the Rangers and has now gone 11-10-1 for the ongoing campaign with a 2.85 GAA and a .900 save percentage. He has registered a 3-1-0 career total against the Florida Panthers with a 3.45 GAA and a .905 save percentage. The Blue Jackets, meanwhile, are netting the 3rd lowest amount of goals per game (2.50), while conceding the 13th highest quantity in their defensive zone (3.07). They are 12th in power play (19.8%) and 19th in penalty kill (79.5%).

Cats Get Beaten By Minnesota

The current season-long nine-game homestand of the Florida Panthers (13-9-5) went 1-1-0 after the team followed up Saturday’s 3-0 shutout of the Nashville Predators with a 4-2 defeat against the Minnesota Wild at BB&T Center on Tuesday. Aleksander Barkov (9 goals, 32 points this year) and Jonathan Huberdeau (11 goals, 33 points) both scored in the opening frame to give the Cats a 2-0 lead before the visitors buried two strikes in each of the following periods. Florida has now lost four of its past five outings (1-4-0) after winning five of six prior (5-1-0). The team is 7-4-2 on own ice this season.

Goalie Chris Driedger (1-1-0 for the year with a 1.53 GAA and a .942 save percentage) made 22 saves versus Minnesota, but will slot into the back-up role for the upcoming fixture, with Sergei Bobrovsky returning to the crease for the clash versus his former employers Columbus. Bobrovsky is set to face the Blue Jackets for the first time in his career, having spent seven seasons with them. He is 9-6-4 for the year with a 3.48 GAA and a .884 save percentage. The Panthers, meanwhile, are 5th in most goals scored per game (3.44), 3rd in most goals given up on average (3.48) and 7th in both power play (22.9%) and penalty kill (84.8%).

Best Bets for this Game

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Both teams have lost four of their last five contests and will be desperate to grab a positive result here. Especially the Panthers, who have already dropped their last seven meetings with Columbus, including their last three encounters in Florida. The Blue Jackets, though, have been dreadful on the road lately, losing four consecutive travels. They have also struggled versus sides with a losing record, winning just two of the previous seven matchups, while the Cats have recorded 21 wins in their past 30 games against teams with a winning percentage below the .400 mark. Pick the Panthers!

Prediction: Florida Panthers (-160)

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The very last three encounters between the pair have been absolute goal bonanzas, averaging no less than 8.67 strikes per game. Is another high-scoring affair on the cards here? Do bet on it! Even more so after 19 of the past 26 domestic contests of the Panthers all delivered heavily when it comes to scoring, with five of their last six outings against sides with a poor record also providing quite a substantial amount of markers.

Prediction: Over 6.5

Written By Valdis Pans

Valdis got his first ever article published when he was 13, and has rarely stopped. He has worked for FHM, MTV Baltics and has done loads of freelance (from columns for Cosmopolitan magazine to helping with organization of Macy Gray's shows in the Northern Europe). Speaks five different languages, loves pizza, American Horror Story and pipe organ music, and knows European soccer better than dates of his family members' birthdays. Is an avid fan of ice-hockey too. He is a Latvian after all...