Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#33 Columbus Blue Jackets 6 vs.
#34 Washington Capitals -225
Monday, December 9, 2019 at 7:05pm EST
Capital One Arena, Washington
Written by Chris Kubala

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#33 Columbus
#34 Washington
11-18
22-9
53-39
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46-40-3
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It’s a battle of Metropolitan Division teams on the ice in the nation’s capital. The Columbus Blue Jackets are on the road as they travel to face the Washington Capitals Monday night. Columbus was beaten 4-1 on the road by Florida in their last game Saturday night. Washington came up with a 3-2 road win over Anaheim in their last contest Friday night. The teams have split the last 10 meetings though the Blue Jackets have won three of the last four. That includes a 3-0 home win in the most recent matchup on February 12, 2019.

Columbus Blue Jackets Hoping to Stop Slide

Columbus was shut down by Florida on the road to suffer their fourth straight loss. The Blue Jackets enter this game seventh in the Metropolitan Division, 13 points behind Philadelphia for the guaranteed playoff spot and 23 behind the Capitals for the division lead. Columbus is 30th in scoring as they average 2.45 goals per game this season. The Blue Jackets are 19th in goals against as they allow 3.10 goals per contest this year. Columbus is tied for 13th on the power play as they convert 19.1 percent of their chances with the man advantage. The Blue Jackets have struggled in shorthanded situations as they are tied for 18th in penalty killing by getting through 79.3 percent of those situations this year.

In their last game, the Blue Jackets’ inability to light the lamp proved to be their undoing once again as they fell to the Panthers. Columbus outshot Florida 10-3 in the opening period but trailed 1-0 after 20 minutes of play. The second period saw the Blue Jackets outshot 15-14 and outscored 1-0 to trail 2-0 after 40 minutes of action. In the final period, Columbus held a 10-9 edge in shots but was outscored 2-1 to ensure their defeat. After falling behind 3-0, Vladislav Gavrikov scored his second of the year at 10:34 off assists from Alexandre Texier and Josh Anderson to get Columbus on the board. That was as close as the Blue Jackets would get as they would give up an empty-netter to close the scoring. Elvis Merzlikins made 23 saves in the loss for the Blue Jackets, who held a 30-27 edge in shots on goal. Joonas Korpisalo likely gets the call between the pipes here.

Washington Capitals Seek to Keep Rolling

Washington earned their sixth straight win by prevailing in a hard-hitting contest with the Ducks on the road Friday night. The Capitals look for a seventh straight win as they entered Sunday with a nine-point lead on the Islanders in the Metropolitan Division race. Washington is third in the league in scoring with 3.61 goals per game this season. The Capitals are 11th in the league in goals against as they allow 2.77 goals per game on the year. Washington is 5th in the league with the man advantage as they cash in 24.5 percent of their power play chances this season. The Capitals are 10th in penalty killing as they successfully work through 84 percent of their shorthanded situations this season.

In their last game, Washington sustained a physical clash with the Ducks to come up with the two points. The Capitals were outshot 14-12 in the opening period but took a 1-0 lead to the dressing room. Travis Boyd scored his second of the season at the 9:00 mark off assists from Carl Hagelin and Dmitry Orlov to open the scoring. In the second period, Washington owned a 15-8 edge in shots with both teams scoring once to leave it 2-1 in favor of the Capitals after 40 minutes. Evgeny Kuznetsov gave Washington a 2-0 lead with his 12th of the year, on the power play, at 5:10 off assists from John Carlson and Jakub Vrana. The Capitals gave up a goal later in the period to halve their lead. In the final period, Washington held a 9-7 edge in shots with both teams scoring once, helping them maintain their one-goal edge. After giving up the tying goal 45 seconds into the third period, Vrana scored his 15th of the year, unassisted, at the 1:37 mark to give the Capitals the lead. Braden Holtby, who made 27 saves, made it stand up the rest of the way. Washington held a 36-29 edge in shots on goal in the contest.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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We’re looking at two teams heading in opposite directions right now. Columbus has dropped four straight while Washington comes in with six straight wins. The Capitals swept their four-game road trip and now come home with a world of momentum. Washington is dangerous offensively and stingy defensively. The Capitals have played well at home, going 8-2-4 on the season. Given Columbus’ recent struggles and their inability to light the lamp, there’s no reason to have much faith in the Blue Jackets. Look for Washington to run their win streak to seven with a triumph here.

Prediction: Washington Capitals -1.5 (+113)

Full-Game Total Pick

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Columbus comes into this game with an ugly -15 goal differential (44-29) on the road this season. The Blue Jackets have a +21 shot differential in those games (415-394) so far on the year. Columbus has seen an average of 6.07 goals per game in their road contests this year. Washington holds a +11 goal differential (51-40) at home on the year. The Capitals have a +6 shot differential (446-440) in those games. That's an average of 6.50 goals per game at the Capital One Arena. What can we expect in this contest?

The over is 9-3 in the Capitals' last 12 against teams from the Eastern Conference, 6-1 in their last seven at home and 4-2 in their last six overall. Columbus is better at scoring on the road and Washington is deadly offensively. This one ends up over the number.

Prediction: Over 6

Half-Time Side Pick

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Columbus comes into this game having held the lead after one period on the road just twice in their 12 games. The Blue Jackets have trailed seven times and been tied three times as the visiting team after one period this season. Washington has led after 20 minutes in seven of their 14 home games this season and been tied in three others. That means the Capitals have trailed only four times after 20 minutes of play at home. Washington has the upper hand after the first period here.

Prediction: 1st Period Washington Capitals

Half-Time Total Bet

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Columbus has been outscored by a goal in the opening period of their games this season on the road (11-10) so far. The Blue Jackets have seen 21 first period goals on the road this season. That gives an average of 1.75 goals per game in the opening 20 minutes of their road games this season. Washington has a +3 goal differential (16-13) in the opening period at Capital One Arena this season. That's a combined 29 goals in the first period of their home games on the year. That gives an average of 2.07 goals per game in the first period. Washington should dent the twine enough to push this one over the number.

Prediction: 1st Period Over
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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.