Facing each other for the final time this year, the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Calgary Flames meet at the Scotiabank Saddledome. The first puck will drop at 8:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, March 4, and you’ll be able to catch this East-West matchup live on Fox Sports Ohio.
Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Calgary Flames Odds
Playing the role of favorite will be Calgary (-165), whereas Columbus is a dog offering moneyline odds of +145,, and the Over/Under (O/U) has been set at 6 goals. The line for betting that total stands at -125 for the over and +105 for the under.
The Flames are 34-33 straight up (SU) and have not been kind to moneyline bettors (to the tune of -6.5 units) thus far. That early-season winning percentage is a noticeable slide from what the team recorded during last year’s regular season (50-32). Of the team’s 67 games this season, 33 have gone over the total, while 29 have gone under and just five have pushed. The team’s 14-16 SU at home this season.
Calgary’s converted on 20.9 percent of its power play opportunities this year, a mark that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked eighth overall, and it’s successfully killed off 82.2 percent of all penalties.
Calgary, as a collective unit, has been whistled for penalties 3.7 times per game overall this season, and 2.0 per game over its last five contests at home. The team has had to defend opposition power plays for just 7.7 minutes per game over its last 10 matchups, in total.
Averaging 27.9 saves per game with a .907 save percentage, David Rittich (24-23-6) has been the primary goalkeeper for the Flames this year. If they decide to give him the night off, however, the team might go with Cam Talbot (10-14-14 record, .919 save percentage, 2.70 goals against average).
Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk will both spearhead the attack for the Flames. Gaudreau (56 points) has put up 17 goals and 39 assists and has recorded two or more points in 13 different games this year. Tkachuk has 21 goals and 35 assists to his name and has notched a point in 38 contests.
Columbus has lost 1.3 units for bettors taking the moneyline thus far and is currently 32-35 straight up (SU). Through 67 regular season matches, 39 of its games have gone under the total, while 27 have gone over and just one has pushed. As a road team, Columbus is 12-19 SU.
Columbus has converted on just 16.9 percent of its power play chances this season, a figure that places it in the bottom-10 overall among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 15th overall and it’s successfully killed off 81.1 percent of all opponent power plays.
Columbus’ skaters have been penalized only 2.9 times per game in total this season, and 1.0 per game over their last five road outings. The team has been forced to stave off opponent power plays just 3.9 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Joonas Korpisalo (2.58 goals against average and .911 save percentage) has been the primary option in goal for Columbus. Korpisalo is averaging 25.3 saves per game and has 19 wins, 16 losses, and five OT losses to his credit.
For the visiting Blue Jackets, the offense will run through Pierre-Luc Dubois (18 goals, 29 assists) and Zach Werenski (20 goals, 20 assists).
Columbus Blue Jackets at Calgary Flames Free Picks
Pick: SU Winner – Blue Jackets, O/U – Over
For both of these teams, the over has hit in three of their past five outings.
Penalties and power plays may play a critical role tonight. The Blue Jackets are 14-19 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 27-23 in games where they serve fewer than 10 total penalty minutes. The Flames are 15-13 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 25-23 in games where they’re in the box for less than 10 minutes.
Calgary is 6-1 in games decided by a shootout this season while Columbus is 0-4 in shootouts.
One of the best teams at creating pressure on opposing offenses, Calgary is ranked 5th in the NHL this season with 8.6 takeaways per game. That figure has trended lower lately, however, as it has managed 7.0 takeaways over its last 10 games and 6.8 takeaways over its last five.
Columbus is ranked 29th overall with 6.2 takeaways per game. That figure has trended down recently, however, as it’s forced 4.7 takeaways over its last 10 games and 5.0 takeaways over its last five.
Calgary might hold an advantage if this one comes down to the wire. The team’s 17-12 in games decided by one goal, while Columbus is 19-22 in such games.