In their fourth and last head-to-head meeting of the regular season, the Washington Capitals and the Columbus Blue Jackets take the ice at Nationwide Arena in a Metro Division matchup. The opening face-off is at 7 p.m. ET on Monday, February 26, and it is being shown live on Fox Sports Ohio.
Washington Capitals at Columbus Blue Jackets Odds
Washington (+110) is entering this one as the underdog to Columbus (-130). The Over/Under (O/U), set at 6 goals, originally opened at -110 for the over and -110 for the under. Those odds have shifted, however, and they now sit at -120 money on the under, +100 on the over.
Washington is 35-27 straight up (SU) and has netted 3.1 units for moneyline bettors this season. 36 of its contests have gone over the total, while 25 have gone under and just one has pushed. As the road team this season, the Caps are 14-16 SU.
Washington has converted on 21.7 percent of its power play chances this year, a mark that places them in the top-10 among NHL teams. Additionally, its penalty kill is ranked 17th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 80.0 percent of its penalties.
For the team as a whole, Washington has been penalized 4.1 times per game overall in the 2017-18 season, and 5.0 per game over its last five on the road. The team’s been forced to kill penalties an unhealthy 14.4 minutes per game over their last five outings.
Averaging 28.6 saves per game with a .909 save percentage, Braden Holtby (28-17-4) has been the primary option in goal for Washington this season. If Washington chooses to rest him, however, the team might go with Philipp Grubauer (7-15-3), who has a .919 save percentage and 2.53 goals against average this year.
The visiting Capitals have relied heavily on Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov this season. Ovechkin (70 points) has tallied 38 goals and 32 assists, and has recorded multiple points in 18 different games. Kuznetsov has 17 goals and 42 assists to his name (and has logged a point in 37 games).
Columbus is 31-31 straight up (SU) and has lost 7.0 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 62 regular season outings, 35 of its games have gone under the total, while 26 have gone over and just one has pushed. The team is 18-13 SU at home this year.
Columbus has converted on just 14.5 percent of its power play opportunities this season, a mark that’s ranked 30th in the NHL. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 26th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 76.6 percent of all penalties.
Columbus skaters have been called for penalties only 3.0 times per game in total this season, and 1.8 per game over their last five at home. The team’s been forced to stave off opponent power plays just 5.7 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Sergei Bobrovsky has stopped 28.0 shots per game as the primary selection in goal for Columbus. Bobrovsky has 26 wins, 25 losses, and five overtime losses and has registered a .920 save percentage and 2.44 goals against average this season.
Artemi Panarin (17 goals, 33 assists) will pace the offensive counter for the Jackets.
Washington Capitals at Columbus Blue Jackets Free Picks
Pick: SU Winner – Blue Jackets, O/U – Under
- The under has hit in four of Columbus’ last five outings.
- Washington has managed 27.8 shot attempts per game over its last five road games while Columbus is averaging 38.2 shots per game over its last five home outings.
- The Capitals are 12-5 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 19-13 in games where they serve fewer than 10 total penalty minutes.
- Washington is 3-1 in games decided by a shootout this season while Columbus is 6-4 in shootouts. Columbus has managed 7.2 takeaways per game over its last five home games, right in line with its season average of 7.4 takeaways per game (ranked 14th in the NHL).
- Washington is ranked 16th this season with 7.2 takeaways per game. That figure has trended down lately, however, as it’s averaged 6.6 takeaways over its last 10 games and 6.0 takeaways over its last five.