Columbus Needs to Tighten D
The Columbus Blue Jackets entered the All-Star break in a downward trend. They had lost four of their last six and their most recent performance was a lopsided defeat versus the Florida Panthers.
What made that loss worse was that they somehow allowed eight goals to be scored. The Blue Jackets definitely need to do a better job against the Washington Capitals on Tuesday.
Ironically, Washington is in a similar spiral. They have lost three of their last five games and are coming off a 5-3 loss against the Edmonton Oilers.
Which of these teams will snag a win in their first game back from the short rest period? Let’s take a closer look at this NHL game betting preview and figure out what’s the best bet versus the NHL odds.
Columbus Blue Jackets at Washington Capitals
- Game: Columbus Blue Jackets (20-22-1) at Washington Capitals (25-13-9)
- Location: Capital One Arena, Washington, DC
- Day/Time: Tuesday, 7 p.m. ET
- Television: NBCS-DC
Blue Jackets Can’t Protect Net
The Blue Jackets are miserable when it comes to keeping the puck out of their own net. They are second-to-last in the league in goals allowed per game, sitting at 3.67.
The only team they are above in this category is the Montreal Canadiens at 3.91. It doesn’t seem to matter who comes into the net for Columbus, because the results are much the same.
Elvis Merzlikins has been between the pipes the most, posting a 14-12-1 record and a .905 save percentage. He allows 3.39 goals per game. Backup Joonas Korpisalo, is 6-8-0 with a .887 save percentage and allows 3.82 goals per game.
If Columbus wants to start winning games consistently, there has to be some type of improvement on the back end. Allowing nearly four goals per game is simply not going to cut it.
Capitals Strong All-Around
Washington plays well on both ends of the ice. They are 11th in both goals scored per game and goals allowed per game. All of their success starts with Alex Ovechkin.
The winger has notched 58 points already and leads the team with 29 goals. Evgeny Kuznetsov is right behind him at 45 points but nobody else has cracked that 40-point mark just yet.
Flipping over to their goaltending, Ilya Samsonov has been Washington’s best netminder in terms of record. He is 14-5-3 with a .902 save percentage. Backup Vitek Vanecek is 10-6-5 with a .915 save percentage and has performed a tad better. NHL betting odds and player props for the upcoming game between the St. Louis Blues and the Anaheim Ducks.
Washington is one of the more talented teams in the league and it has a chance to rip apart a weak Columbus defense.
Capitals Unsurprising Favorites
Given how poorly the Blue Jackets have been the entire season at defending their own net, it isn’t surprising to see them listed as the underdogs in the sportsbook.
Washington boasts one of the top point scorers in the league in Ovechkin. He is fifth place in the NHL in that category. The Capitals are going to be a handful with their puck movement and explosive offense.
On the other end, Columbus doesn’t have nearly a talented enough offense to keep up with them. All signs point towards Washington winning this game handily, so take them with your NHL picks.
As for the total, it is set at 6½ right now. Given how Columbus just allowed eight goals to the Panthers in their last game and how Washington’s last two went above the total, the over should do well.
Parlay: Washington Capitals -250 and Over 6½
Pick: Over 6½
Pick: Washington Capitals -250