Florida Panthers at Columbus Blue Jackets Matchup

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

A game between two teams riding winning streaks, the Florida Panthers and the Columbus Blue Jackets face off at Nationwide Arena in an Eastern Conference matchup. The first puck will drop at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 22, and you are able to view it live on Fox Sports Ohio.

Florida Panthers vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Odds

Columbus comes into the game as the obvious favorite with a -140 moneyline. The line for Florida sits at +120, and the Over/Under (O/U) has been set at 6 goals. The odds for betting the total stand at -110 money on the over and -110 on the under.

Columbus is 41-33 straight up (SU) and has netted 1.9 units for moneyline bettors this season. That winning percentage, the third-best in the Metropolitan Division in this young season, is a regression from the 50-32 record that the team posted during last year’s regular season campaign. Through 74 regular season outings, 38 of its games have gone under the total, while 35 have gone over and just one has pushed. The team’s 24-13 SU at home this year.

The Blue Jackets have converted on just 15.1 percent of their power play opportunities this season, a figure that puts them in the bottom- overall among NHL teams. On the other hand, their penalty kill is rated 26th overall, and they’ve successfully killed off 76.8 percent of all penalties.

As a collective unit, the Blue Jackets have been called for penalties just 3.0 times per game overall this season, and 2.2 per game over their last five at home. The team has had to kill penalties for just 6.0 minutes per game over their last 10 outings, in total.

With a .921 save percentage and 28.1 saves per game, Sergei Bobrovsky (33-26-5) has been the top goalkeeper for Columbus this year. If head coach John Tortorella decides to give him the evening off, however, Columbus could go with Joonas Korpisalo (8-8-8 record, .902 save percentage, 3.23 goals against average).

The Jackets will continue to look for leadership via Artemi Panarin and Thomas Vanek. Panarin (68 points) has tallied 25 goals and 43 assists and has recorded multiple points 13 times this year. Vanek has 20 goals and 29 assists to his name and has recorded a point in 34 contests.

Florida is 37-34 straight up (SU) and has netted moneyline bettors 1.4 units this season. Through 71 regular season contests, 36 of its games have gone over the total, while 34 have gone under and just one has pushed. The Panthers are 15-20 SU as the visiting team this season.

The Panthers have converted on 19.4 percent of their power play chances this year, a mark that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 13th overall and it’s successfully killed off 81.3 percent of all opponent power plays.

Florida’s skaters have been whistled for penalties 4.3 times per game this season, and 3.0 per game over their last five road outings. The team has been forced to defend opponent power plays a whopping 13.7 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

James Reimer (3.03 goals against average and .911 save percentage) has been the primary option in goal for Florida. Reimer is averaging 28.4 saves per game and owns an 18-20-5 record.

Aleksander Barkov (26 goals, 47 assists) has been one of the most vital playmaking threats for the visiting Panthers.

Florida Panthers at Columbus Blue Jackets Free Picks

Free Pick: SU Winner – Blue Jackets, O/U – Over

Betting Notes

  • Columbus is 6-4 in games decided by a shootout this season while Florida is 3-3 in shootouts.
  • The total has gone over in four of Columbus’ last five outings.
  • This game features two clubs that have pounded opponents’ goalies with shots. Florida has taken the league’s most shots on goal (34.6) and Columbus’s attempted the sixth-most (33.9).
  • Columbus has averaged 2.8 goals per game overall this season, but has raised it up to 4.2 per match up on its nine-game winning streak.
  • Over Florida’s last ten games, eight of them have been decided by two or more goals (the team is 6-2 in those games).