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The Blue Jackets enter this game 9th in the NHL with a record of 25-16-8. Columbus has a road record of 10-7-6 so far this season. The Blue Jackets are 8-2 in their last 10 games and have won four of them in a row. On the other hand, the NY Rangers have a record of 23-19-4 and sit 22nd in the NHL. The Rangers are 6-4 in their last 10 games and have won two of them in a row. NY enters this game with a home record of 13-8-2 this season. Both of these teams are able to win this game, possessing skilled players and sound coaching.
Columbus Blue Jackets Search for Road WinsThe Blue Jackets are ranked 20th in the NHL in goals scored per game when away from home. Nick Foligno is struggling this season, racking up less than 20 points so far this season. Foligno has looked slow, sloppy, and just flat out terrible for the Jackets this season. He and the others will need to get it together to help spark their offense in this game.
Columbus enters this game ranked 11th in the NHL when it comes to goals allowed per game when on the road. Elvis Merzlikins has been amazing since getting some regular playing time as of late. The Blue Jackets have done a great job blocking shots and controlling the puck in the defensive zone.
NY Rangers Try to Gain SteamThe Rangers rank 23rd in the NHL in goals allowed per game when at home. Henrik Lundquist is not the goalie he used to be, looking sloppy in net and not controlling his angles. Lundquist used to be the best goalie in the NHL at a time, but that time is gone. Look for him to be the biggest factor in whether or not this team wins here tonight.
The NY Rangers are ranked 5th in the NHL in goals scored per game at home. Artemi Panarin is among the leading point scorers in the NHL, racking up 68 points so far this season. Panarin is just so fun to watch, using his speed and puck handling abilities to undress any goalie he wants. Panarin will need to execute tonight to help lead this team to victory. Ryan Strome will also be key tonight, delivering a 1-2 punch to this Columbus defense.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Go with the home team in this matchup. When two evenly matched teams face off in a rivalry game, I love going with the homeboys. Especially when the home team excels when on home ice like the Rangers do. Artemi Panarin has been superb all season and will continue his point-scoring here tonight. He loves playing in front of the home fans who will cheer him on the a great night along with Ryan Strome. Lundquist may be declining, but he still has solid play left in him. I expect him to do just enough tonight to help guide his team to victory against a Blue Jackets offense that struggles to score away from home.
Prediction: NY Rangers
Full-Game Total Pick
I would take the over in this game. Both of these teams have the skaters to create a surplus of high quality goal scoring opportunities. Ryan Strome and Artemi Panarin are two of the hottest stars in the NHL today. These two men have the ability to open up any game with their speed and stick handling abilities. On the flip side, the Rangers have very shaky goal tending this season with Lundquist being a liability. Two great reasons to take the over in this one. Pierre-Luc Dubois and this Blue Jackets team are inconstant when it comes to scoring goals, but this line is so low that it is too tempting to pass up. Let us watch with excitement as this lover gets smashed.
Prediction: Over 6