Florida Panthers (3-0) at Columbus Blue Jackets (2-2-3)
NHL Hockey: Thursday, January 28, 2021 at 7:00 pm (Nationwide Arena)
The Line: Columbus Blue Jackets -115 / Florida Panthers -105 --- Over/Under: 5.5 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
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The Florida Panthers and the Columbus Blue Jackets meet in NHL action from Nationwide Arena on Thursday night.
The Florida Panthers will look to build on their 3-0 start after a 4-3 shootout win over Columbus last time out. Patric Hornqvist and Carter Verhaeghe each have a team-high 5 points with Hornqvist logging 4 goals while Verhaeghe has 3 goals and 3 assists. Jonathan Huberdeau, Aleksander Barkov and Anthony Duclair each have 4 points with Barkov and Huberdeau each have a goal and 3 assists while Duclair has 4 assists. Keith Yandle and Aaron Ekblad each have a goal and 2 assists as well for the Panthers this season. Sergei Bobrovsky has a 2-0 record in goal for the Panthers with a 3.35 GAA while Chris Driedger has a 2.00 GAA in his lone performance of the year.
The Columbus Blue Jackets will look to bounce back after their loss to Florida last time out. Oliver Bjorkstrand and Alex Texier each have 6 points with Bjorkstrand logging 4 assists while Texier has 4 goals. Boone Jenner has 5 points with 2 goals and 3 assists. Michael Del Zotto and Nick Foligno each have 4 points with Del Zotto putting up 4 assists while Foligno has 3 goals and an assist. Joonas Korpisalo and Elvis Merzlikins each have a 1-2 record in goal with Korpisalo posting a 2.45 GAA while Merzlikins has a 3.34 GAA on the year.
Florida is 4-1 in their last 5 games overall and 21-8 in their last 29 games against a team with a losing record while the over is 3-0-1 in their last 4 games as an underdog. Columbus is 1-5 in their last 6 home games and 9-23 in their last 32 games overall while the over is 4-1 in their last 5 games as a home favorite. The home team is 11-4 in the last 15 meetings between these two teams.
I think for this game I’m simply taking the old adage of if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. Florida’s been rock solid to start the year even in a small sample size, and while Columbus has had more game time to get reacclimated, it hasn’t gone particularly well. I’m also not the biggest backer of Elvis Merzlikins and Joonas Korpisalo in goal for Columbus and I just like Florida’s roster top to bottom a bit more so I’ll side with the Panthers on the road in this spot.