Blue Jackets Reclaim First In Metro With Win Over Capitals

Jimmy Murphy

Friday, December 7, 2018 3:16 PM UTC

Friday, Dec. 7, 2018 3:16 PM UTC

The Blue Jackets will beat their Metro Division rivals, the Washington Capitals, again on Saturday and reclaim first place in the division.

Murphy: 41-35-2

Washington (16-9-3, 16-12 ATS) at Columbus (16-10-2, 16-12 ATS)Saturday, 7 PM ETFree NHL Picks: Blue Jackets ML & UnderBest Lines Offered: BetOnline

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After allowing 9 goals in a 9-6 home loss (thank God the cannon doesn’t sound for visitor goals too!) to the Flames on Tuesday, the Blue Jackets survived two rallies by the Flyers Thursday and bounced back with a 4-3 win at Nationwide Arena. Now they welcome in the defending Stanley Cup Champions and Metro Division rival, Washington Capitals. The Blue Jackets will not only win and leapfrog the Caps for first place in the Metro, but will become the first team this season to beat the Champs twice! The BJ’s were just 1-3-0 against the Capitals last season, but with a more well balanced and healthy team now, and an always raucous Nationwide crowd behind them, John Tortorella’s crew will end the Caps’ current 3-game roadie in defeat.

Despite what can be termed at best as shaky goaltending by goalie Sergei Bobrovsky this season, Columbus has still found a way to hover in and around the top of their division and one of the main reasons has been a healthier blue line led by Seth Jones (5g, 11a), and Ryan Murray (1g, 14a). Both have provided a steadiness that with the exception of last Tuesday, has given the Blue Jackets a better transition game. Jones is truly emerging as one of the best in the biz and if Murray can remain healthy, he will too. That played a major role in the Blue Jackets’ 2-1 win at Washington on November 9 and will be huge again in this one as they can help counter that lethal Washington forecheck. The biggest key in this game though will be a vintage performance from Bobrovsky, who with free agency looming next July 1, needs to elevate his game and what better time than now, in a statement win over the champs!

The Blue Jackets are 16-12 against the spread and 7-6 at home. Columbus has scored 100 goals and allowed 95. They’re 12-13-3 on the over/under and 7-4-2 at home. The BJ’s are 15-13 on the puck line and 6-7 at home. Cam Atkinson leads the team in goals with 19 lamplighters and points with 31. Artemi Panarin leads the team in assists with 24 helpers.

The Capitals are 16-12 against the spread and 8-6 on the road. Washington has scored 102 goals and allowed 90. They’re 16-9-3 on the over/under and 9-4-1 on the road. The Caps are 15-13 on the puck line and 9-5 on the road. Alexander Ovechkin is absolutely en fuego right now! He’s riding a 10-game point streak with 9 goals and 5 assists during that span. He leads the team in goals with 21 lamplighters and is tied for the team lead in points with Nicklas Backstrom as both have 34. Backstrom is tied for team lead in assists as well with defenseman John Carlson as both have 24 helpers.

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John Tortorella has flu-like symptoms.

His solution? Throw on a hoodie. 😂 pic.twitter.com/rwUSTOm6dT

— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) 7 de diciembre de 2018
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Goaltending Matchup

For the Capitals, Braden Holtby is 10-7-0-2 with a 3.00 GAA and .907 save percentage.

Backup Pheonix Copley is 6-2-0-1 with a 2.95 GAA and .902 save percentage.

For the Blue Jackets, Bobrovsky is 11-9-0 with a 3.01 GAA and .901 save percentage.

Backup Joonas Korpisalo is 5-1-0-2 with a 3.75 GAA and .883 save percentage.

M*A*S*H Report

The Blue Jackets are healthy.

For the Capitals, defenseman Brooks Orpik (knee) is skating again but still day-to-day and Tom Wilson and T.J. Oshie are both day-to-day with concussions.

Prediction: Blue Jackets 3, Capitals 2

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