Two Worst Power Plays in NHL Means ‘Under’ Call in Jackets-Oilers

jaqckets oilers

Matthew Jordan

Monday, March 26, 2018 4:25 PM UTC

Monday, Mar. 26, 2018 4:25 PM UTC

The Columbus Blue Jackets are batting for a playoff spot, while the Oilers are just playing out the string as they meet for the final time this season Tuesday in Edmonton.

Columbus Blue Jackets (89 points) at Edmonton Oilers (74 points)Free NHL Pick: UnderBest Line Offered: SportsBetting

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Total of nine games on Tuesday’s NHL schedule and the lone one with a 9 p.m. ET puck drop is Columbus making its lone visit of the season to Edmonton – one team that still has plenty of motivation and one just playing out the string.

The Oilers go for the season sweep as they played one of their best games of the season on Dec. 12 in Columbus, a 7-2 win. Connor McDavid had a goal and three assists in being named the game’s No. 1 star. Laurent Brossoit stopped 28 shots; No. 1 goaltender Cam Talbot was hurt back then. A dozen different Edmonton players recorded at least a point. Blue Jackets netminder Sergei Bobrovsky, the reigning Vezina Trophy winner, was pulled after allowing five goals through two periods. The Oilers were 2-for-4 on the power play. That has been a major weakness this season as Edmonton is dead last on the power play in converting just 14.3 percent of the time.

At home, Edmonton is 20-7 all-time vs. Columbus but has dropped two of the past three there.

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Jackets Need All Points They Can Get

Every point is critical for Columbus as it fights for a playoff spot – as of Monday, the Jackets are third in the Metropolitan Division. They should get in barring a collapse down the stretch. This starts a three-game swing through Canada. The Jackets had their 10-game winning streak snapped Saturday vs. the visiting Blues, 2-1.

Alexander Steen scored on St. Louis’ first shot and the Blues would never trail. Bobrovsky, who gave up both goals on 28 shots, lost for the first time since March 2. Cam Atkinson had the lone goal (he had another waived off) and has a point in four straight games (three goals and two assists).

Could Columbus get back winger Josh Anderson for this game? Possible. The winger has been out since Feb. 26 due to a knee strain but has been skating and will go on the road trip. He has 18 goals and 11 assists in 61 games. The Jackets could use all the offensive help they can get as they are 22nd in the league in scoring and only the Oilers are worse on the power play. Columbus needs Anderson ASAP because top line winger Nick Foligno is going to miss 2-4 weeks with a lower-body injury suffered Saturday. He has 15 goals and 33 points in 72 games this year.

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FIRST STAR: @cmcdavid97 paced the NHL with 5-5—10 to move into first place in the Art Ross Trophy race. He looks to become the first repeat Art Ross Trophy winner since Jaromir Jagr (1997-98 through 2000-01). #NHLStats pic.twitter.com/0amjLKsoPB

— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) March 26, 2018
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Edmonton was the preseason NHL betting favorite to win the Western Conference but has been eliminated from playoff contention. Could that cost Coach Todd McLellan his job? McDavid still has plenty to play for as he looks to repeat as the Art Ross Trophy winner as the league’s top scorer. He led with 100 points last year and has just recently taken the lead this season with 99. The 21-year-old has nine points in the past three games. The last player to lead in scoring back-to-back years was Jaromir Jagr when he won it four straight years with Pittsburgh starting in 1997-98. McDavid won’t repeat as the Hart Trophy winner, however.

Should be Talbot (29-27-2, 2.98 GAA, .909 save percentage) in net. He hasn’t played near as well as last year but has been better of late, going 7-4-0 this month with a.930 save percentage. Talbot is 3-3-0 in seven career appearances vs. Columbus with a 2.50 GAA and .917 save percentage. Bobrovsky is 6-4-0 with a 2.80 GAA and .898 SV in his career vs. Edmonton.

Not a huge gut feeling on the winning team here but do like the 'under' for a Tuesday NHL pick with both struggling on special teams. Bobrovsky rarely has back-to-back poor outings. The ‘under’ is 6-2 on Columbus’ past eight road games vs. teams with a losing home record. It’s 3-1-2 in Edmonton’s past six vs. clubs with a winning record.

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