Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Chicago Blackhawks - 4/4/14
Chicago Blackhawks (42-19-15) at Columbus Blue Jackets (38-30-7)
NHL Hockey: Friday, April 4, 2014 at 7:00 pm (Nationwide Arena)
The Line: Columbus Blue Jackets -105 / Chicago Blackhawks -105 --- Over/Under: 5 See the Latest Odds
The Blue Jackets look to inch closer to clinching a playoff berth as they host the Blackhawks on Friday less than 24 hours after blanking the Flyers in Philadelphia.
The Blackhawks will be shorthanded for the rest of the regular season as both Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane have been ruled out until the postseason but that didn’t slow Chicago down one bit last night as they fended off a desperate Minnesota team and claimed a 3-2 shootout victory. Chicago is back in action on Friday night as they head to Columbus to face off against their former Central division rivals who have since moved over to the Eastern Conference. The Hawks can still catch Colorado in the Central division standings which would give them home ice advantage in what is quickly becoming an inevitable first round show down with Colorado as the two will not catch the Blues and will fnish in second and third in the division. The Hawks can leapfrog the Avs with a win tonight as the Avs remain idle but will square off against the Blues in a pivotal show down on Saturday. Antii Raanta is expected to get the start for the Hawks as he will go up against Sergei Bobrovsky.
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The Blue Jackets played one of their most complete games of the year last night in Philadelphia as Sergei Bobrovsky blanked his former team by a 2-0 final giving the Jackets an edge in the Eastern Conference wild card battle. Columbus has two games in hand on the Maple Leafs for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and currently sit a single point up on the Buds who are coming off a huge win over the Bruins on Thursday night and will be getting ready for a showdown against the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday. It is almost certain that Bobrovsky will get the start again as the Jackets are in desperation mode and while they did play very well against the Flyers it’ll be tough to match up with Chicago even though they’re shorthanded. However, I like the Jackets to come away with another must win at home against the Hawks in what should be a very tightly contested game.