Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Florida Panthers - 12/31/19 NHL Pick, Odds & Prediction

Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Florida Panthers - 12/31/19 NHL Pick, Odds & Prediction Photo by

Florida Panthers at Columbus Blue Jackets

Tuesday, December 31, 2019 at 7:00 PM (Nationwide Arena)

CLB -115, O/U 6

The Florida Panthers head to Columbus, Ohio on Tuesday for a game against the Blue Jackets in a matchup of teams from the Eastern Conference.  In their last game, Florida was victorious by the score of 6-5 against the Montreal Canadiens.  The Panthers received goals from Noel Acciari, Michael Matheson and 2 goals each from Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau.  Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky recorded the win in net for the Panthers as he made saves on 38 of 43 Montreal shots in the game. 

The Panthers are now 20-13-5 on the season which puts them in 3rd place in the Atlantic Division. Jonathan Huberdeau leads Florida in points with 53 and in assists with 37 on the season.  Huberdeau also leads Florida in goals as he has recorded 16 so far this year with 3 coming while on the power play.  Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky is 14-10-4 with 1 shutout and a 3.26 goals against average.  Florida’s backup goalie, Chris Driedger is 3-1-0 with 1 shutout and a goals against average of 2.27. Florida enters Friday’s game with 2 players listed on their injury report as Aaron Ekblad and Mackenzie Weegar are both listed as out. 

The Columbus Blue Jackets welcome the Florida Panthers to town on Tuesday after losing their last game by the score of 3-2 in a shootout against the Chicago Blackhawks.  Columbus received goals from Riley Nash and Pierre-Luc Dubois in the first period but couldn’t score against and couldn’t hold onto the lead.  Columbus goalie Joonas Korpisalo started in net for the Blue Jackets and was solid, making saves on 28 of 30 Chicago shots on the night but was injured in the shootout and his replacement, Elvis Merzlikins took the loss after allowing a shootout goal.    

Heading into Tuesday’s game, the Blue Jackets are 17-14-8 and are currently in 6th place in the Metropolitan Division. The Blue Jackets leader in points is Pierre-Luc Dubois who has recorded 27 so far this season.  The Blue Jackets are also led in goals by Dubois who has 13 goals with 1 coming while on the power play.  The Columbus assist leader is Seth Jones who has 18 assists on the season.  Columbus goalie Joonas Korpisalo is 17-10-4 on the season with 2 shutouts and a goals against average of 2.49.  Meanwhile, backup goalie Elvis Merzlikins is 0-4-4 with a goals against average of 3.41 on the season.  The Blue Jackets come into Tuesday’s game with 4 players listed on their injury report as Cam Atkinson is on injured reserve, Sonny Milano and Scott Harrington are listed as out and Joonas Korpisalo is listed as day to day.    

The Florida Panthers have averaged 3.55 goals per game this season while allowing 3.34 goals per game.  The Columbus Blue Jackets have scored 2.59 goals per game while allowing 2.79 goals per game.  In their last 5 games, the Panthers are 4-1 and have won 2 in a row while the Blue Jackets are 2-3 and have lost 2 games in a row.  In their first meeting of the season, the Panthers came away with the win by the score of 4-1 in a game played in Florida.  I would look for this game to be a high scoring affair as the total has gone over in 5 of the last 6 games for Florida.  Also, if Merzlikins starts in net, it could be a chance for Florida to really pad some stats as he has struggled all year.  I am going with the Panthers in this one as they have been a hot team as of late and the chance that Columbus starting goalie Joonas Korpisalo might not play and if he does, he might not be at 100%.  The Florida Panthers win this one 5-3. 

Travis’s Pick Florida Panthers -110(ML)

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a Sports Chat Place site consensus.