Philadelphia Flyers at Columbus Blue Jackets Game Preview

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

Nationwide Arena will be hosting a divisional showdown as the Columbus Blue Jackets welcome the visiting Philadelphia Flyers. The matchup gets started at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, December 23, and you are able to witness it live on NBC Sports Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Flyers at Columbus Blue Jackets Odds

Columbus is 21-15 straight up (SU) and has earned moneyline bettors 2.0 units this year. That winning percentage, ranked 3rd in the Metropolitan Division in this young season, is fairly close to the 50-32 record the team managed during last years regular season campaign. Of the teams 36 games this season, 17 have gone under the total, while 17 have gone over and just one has pushed. The teams 13-6 SU at home this year.

The Blue Jackets have converted on just 11.4 percent of their power play chances this year, a mark that places them in the bottom- overall among NHL teams. On the other hand, their penalty kill is rated 15th overall, and they’ve successfully killed off 81.4 percent of all penalties.

As a team, the Blue Jackets have been penalized just 3.2 times per game overall this season, and 4.8 per game over their past five contests. The teams had to stave off opposition power plays for a whopping 14.0 minutes per game over their last five outings, in total.

Boasting a .920 save percentage and 27.9 saves per game, Sergei Bobrovsky (17 wins, 12 losses, and two OT losses) has been the best goalkeeper for the Jackets this year. If head coach John Tortorella decides to rest him, however, Columbus might turn to Joonas Korpisalo (4-4-4 record, .911 save percentage, 2.84 goals against average).

The Jackets will continue relying on leadership from Artemi Panarin and Oliver Bjorkstrand. Panarin (30 points) has produced eight goals and 22 assists and has recorded two or more points in five different games this year. Bjorkstrand has six goals and 16 assists to his name and has notched a point in 18 games.

On the other side of the ice, Philadelphia is 15-20 straight up (SU) and has lost 6.8 units for bettors taking the moneyline this year. Through 35 regular season outings, 17 of its games have gone over the total, while 15 have gone under and just two have pushed. The Flyers are 7-9 SU as the visiting team this season.

The Flyers have converted on 20.0 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 28th overall and it’s successfully defended 76.8 percent of all penalties.

Philadelphia’s players have been called for penalties 3.7 times per game this season, and 2.6 per game over their last five on the road. The team has been forced to kill penalties just 4.9 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Brian Elliott (.913 save percentage and 2.65 goals against average) has been the primary option in goal for Philadelphia. Elliott is averaging 27.4 saves per game and owns a 13-15-6 record.

For the visiting Flyers, the offense will be facilitated by Jakub Voracek (eight goals, 36 assists) and Claude Giroux (13 goals, 28 assists).

Philadelphia Flyers at Columbus Blue Jackets Free Picks

Predictions: SU Winner – Blue Jackets, O/U – Under

Betting Trends

  • Columbus (3-2 in shootouts this season) has more experience in games decided by shootout. Philadelphia fell short in both of its shootouts this year.
  • The total has gone over in three of Columbus last five games.
  • Philadelphia has managed 29.4 shot attempts per game over its last five road games while Columbus has been attempting 35.6 shots per game over its last five home outings.
  • The Jackets this season have tallied the 11th-most hits per game (22.1).