In their second head-to-head meeting of the regular season, the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Pittsburgh Penguins meet at PPG Paints Arena for a Metropolitan Division matchup. Fox Sports Ohio will broadcast the game, and the puck drops at 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday, December 27.
Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Pittsburgh Penguins Odds
Pittsburgh (-150) is currently favored over Columbus (+130) and the oddsmakers have set the Over/Under (O/U) at 6 goals (-110 for the over, -110 for the under).
Columbus is 22-15 straight up (SU) and has earned moneyline bettors 3.0 units this year. Through 37 regular season contests, 19 of its games have gone under the total, while 17 have gone over and just one has pushed. The Jackets are 8-9 SU as a road team in 2017-18.
Columbus has converted on just 12.0 percent of its power play opportunities this season, a mark that’s ranked 31st in the NHL. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 13th overall, and it has successfully killed off 82.0 percent of its penalties.
For the team as a whole, the Jackets have been penalized just 3.2 times per game overall in the 2017-18 season, and 4.6 per game over its last five on the road. The team has had to stave off opponent power plays an unhealthy 13.6 minutes per game over their last five outings.
Averaging 28.0 saves per game with a .922 save percentage, Sergei Bobrovsky (18-12-2) has been the best option in goal for Columbus this year. If Columbus chooses to rest him, however, they could roll with Joonas Korpisalo (4-4), who has a .911 save percentage and 2.84 goals against average this year.
The visiting Blue Jackets will be led by Artemi Panarin and Oliver Bjorkstrand. Panarin (31 points) has tallied eight goals and 23 assists, and has recorded multiple points six times. Bjorkstrand has six goals and 17 assists to his name, and has registered at least one point in 18 games.
On the other side of the rink, Pittsburgh is 18-19 straight up (SU) and has lost 7.7 units for moneyline bettors thus far. 19 of its outings have gone over the total, while 16 have gone under and just two have pushed. It’s 11-7 SU at home this year.
The Penguins have converted on 24.4 percent of their power play opportunities this season, a mark that’s good enough for fifth-best in the league. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 20th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 80.1 percent of all penalties.
Pittsburgh skaters have been penalized 4.5 times per game in total this season, and 3.8 per game over their past ten outings. The teams been forced to kill penalties 8.7 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Matt Murray (25.8 saves per game) has been the primary option in goal for the Penguins. Murray has 14 wins, 12 losses, and one OT loss and has recorded a poor .906 save percentage and 2.91 goals against average this season.
Phil Kessel (15 goals, 24 assists) will pace the offensive counter for the Pens.
Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Pittsburgh Penguins Betting Predictions
Predictions: SU Winner – Blue Jackets, O/U – Over
- The Penguins are 7-10 SU in games where they serve more penalty minutes than their opponent while the Blue Jackets are 7-5 SU when they spend more time in the box than their opponent.
- Two of Columbus last ten games have gone to a shootout. The team is 1-1 in those games and 4-2 overall in shootouts this season.
- The under has hit in three of Pittsburgh’s last five games.
- Pittsburgh skaters have averaged 11.6 giveaways over its last five home games, a rise over its season average of 8.6 giveaways per game (ranked 11th in the NHL).
- One of the best at possessing the puck, Columbus is ranked second this season with just 6.1 giveaways per game. That figure has trended lower lately, however, as the teams averaged 4.9 giveaways over its last 10 games and 4.8 giveaways over its last five.
- The Penguins this season have recorded the seventh-most hits in the league (23.4 per game), but that average has jumped up to 29.4 over their past five games as the home team.