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Colorado Avalanche vs. Columbus Blue Jackets - 12/31/13

Columbus Blue Jackets (17-18-4) at Colorado Avalanche (23-11-4)

NHL Hockey: Tuesday, December 31, 2013 at 8:00 pm (Pepsi Center)

The Line: Colorado Avalanche -168 / Columbus Blue Jackets +153 --- Over/Under: 5.5 See the Latest Odds


The Columbus Blue Jackets visit the Colorado Avalanche on New Years Eve at the Pepsi Center in Denver, as both teams try to end the calendar year on a winning note.

In the seven games since Sergei Bobrovsky’s groin injury, the Blue Jackets have remained consistent with mediocrity, going 6-4-1. The Jackets visit Colorado in the first stop of a four game road trip, which pins Columbus against some quality opponents. Aside from Bobrovsky, Columbus is dealing with other injury woes including winger Marion Gaborik, who figures to miss nearly two months with a broken collarbone suffered last week. Before crumbling in the third period at home in a 5-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Blue Jackets racked up three straight victories.

Colorado Avalanche vs. Columbus Blue Jackets - 12/31/13

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Avalanche began the season as one of the NHL’s biggest surprises and ranking near the top of the Western Conference standings, but have since came back down to earth. Colorado currently sits in the seventh spot in the tight Western Conference race, and Patrick Roy has acknowledged that every single game matters given the competitive nature of this year’s race. Colorado has dropped four straight games and is 4-5-4 in December, but that record does not reflect the play of Matt Duchene, who has 14 points in the last ten games. Colorado comes into this game after a 2-1 home loss to Winnipeg in overtime, but the team remains one of the strongest in the league on its home ice with a 12-5-2.

Columbus has won four of the last five meetings with Colorado, but the Blue Jackets are just 6-18 in the last 24 meetings in Colorado. The Avalanche will be without PA Parenteau, who is expected to miss six weeks with a knee injury. Regardless, I think the Avalanche get back on track in hopes of remaining in the thick of the playoff race. I'm not a fan of laying the steep price here, and the Avs have only dropped one game in regulation at home this year, so I suggest taking a look at the three way. 

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