Ovechkin Tough to Contain, but Caps-Jackets Will Stay 'Under' Total

Dana Lane

Monday, February 26, 2018 6:35 PM UTC

Monday, Feb. 26, 2018 6:35 PM UTC

The "under" is 8-1 for Washington when coming off one day of rest. Tonight, on the road against playoff-hungry Columbus, that trend should continue.

Monday NHL: Capitals vs. Blue JacketsFree NHL Pick: Under 5.5 (-115)Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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It’s off to Nationwide Arena where the Columbus Blue Jackets (31-26-5, 67 points, -11 goal differential) host the Washington Capitals (35-20-7, 77, +10) tonight. The NHL odds board opened with the Jackets a -125 favorite, 5.5 (under, -125). The money line is pretty steady but a ton of "over" money has pushed the number to -115.

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#CBJ acquire defenseman Ian Cole from Ottawa in exchange for forward Nick Moutrey and 2020 third round draft pick.

More info:https://t.co/MgZDCWdeFP

— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) February 26, 2018

Key statistics: Columbus 2.53 GPG (29th); Washington 28.8 shots per game (31st)

The Blue Jackets need to start making a move in the Metropolitan Division as the Islanders and Hurricanes are bearing down on John Tortorella’s team for the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. With a win tonight they’ll finally solve the Capitals, who have won the past six meetings.

In order for our ticket to cash tonight, Cam Atkinson must be able to slow down Alexander Ovechkin. This won’t be easy considering the fire that must be brewing inside Ovi after not being able to play for the Olympic Athletes of Russia in South Korea. It would figure that he’ll be on a mission the last part of the regular season. I’m sure Atkinson (5-foot-8, 182 pounds) will have plenty of help because he’s not physical enough to shut down Ovechkin.

The Bluejackets beat the Blackhawks 3-2 on Saturday. Yes, the game went "under" but the more impressive feat was the Jackets holding the Blackhawks to just eight shots in the third period. We understand the Blackhawks have not had the season that most expected, but they still average almost 35 shots a game. They lead the league in that category, so you have to give the Jackets credit for their defensive effort. If they carry that into tonight’s game, we’ll cash this ticket easy.

Braden Holtby (28-13-4, .909, 2.95) will get the start in net for Washington. Sergei Bobrovsky (26-20-5, 57 pts, .919, 2.44) is probable for Columbus.

Today is the trade deadline and normally I would anticipate players on both sides worrying about their future with their team, but both of these clubs should be settled tonight.

"I think that depends on the year and the rumors," Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. "Right now, I don't think there is any of that in our room. I think our guys are pretty settled in. We like our group; we've already made a couple of deals, so I don't think that's a factor in our room. But in other places it can affect certain guys because their names are obviously spread all over the place. They're human, too. They pretend to not hear it, but they do. That's part of the business that if you're a family or someone in this business it's not great, but it's part of what you sign up for."

This game will go "under" the total as we get back on track with our NHL picks.

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