Squaring off for the final time this season, the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Edmonton Oilers face off at Rogers Place. CBC Sports will broadcast this East-West matchup, and the opening face-off is at 10 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 7.
Columbus Blue Jackets at Edmonton Oilers Odds
Edmonton enters the matchup as the heavy favorite with a moneyline of -150. The line for Columbus is standing at +130, and oddsmakers have set the Over/Under (O/U) at 6 goals (-125 for the over, +105 for the under).
Netting moneyline bettors 6.2 units, the Oilers are 36-32 straight up (SU) overall this year. That winning percentage, ranked 2nd in the Pacific Division in this young season, is a remarkable improvement over the 35-47 record from last year’s regular season campaign. Through 68 regular season matches, 33 of the team’s games have gone over the total, while 31 have gone under and just four have pushed. The team is 16-15 SU at home this year.
Edmonton currently has the second-strongest power-play unit in the NHL, as the team has scored on 29.8 percent of their extra-man advantages this year. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked second overall, and it’s successfully killed off 84.5 percent of all penalties.
Edmonton, as a collective unit, has been called for penalties 3.4 times per game overall this season, 3.0 per game over its past five outings total, and 3.4 per game over its last five home outings. The team has had to stave off opponent power plays for just 6.8 minutes per game over its last 10 matchups, overall.
Sporting a .914 save percentage and 27.4 saves per game, Mikko Koskinen (18-18-2) has been the primary goalkeeper for the Oilers this season. If the Oilers decide to give him a breather, however, the team could go with Mike Smith (19-19-19 record, .903 save percentage, 2.94 goals against average).
Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid will each lead the charge for the Oilers. Draisaitl (110 points) is up to 43 goals and 67 assists and has recorded multiple points on 32 separate occasions this year. McDavid has 32 goals and 63 assists to his credit and has recorded a point in 46 games.
Columbus has lost 2.3 units for bettors taking the moneyline this year and is currently 32-36 straight up (SU). Through 68 regular season matches, 40 of its games have gone under the total, while 27 have gone over and just one has pushed. Columbus’ 12-20 SU as an away team this season.
Columbus has converted on just 16.8 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 13th overall and it’s successfully killed off 81.2 percent of all penalties.
Columbus’ skaters have been whistled for penalties only 2.9 times per game in total this season, and 0.8 per game over their last five on the road. The team’s been forced to kill penalties just 3.7 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Joonas Korpisalo (25.5 saves per game) has been the primary choice in goal for Columbus. Korpisalo owns a 19-17-6 record, and has registered a .912 save percentage and 2.58 goals against average this year.
Pierre-Luc Dubois (18 goals, 30 assists) has been one of the primary facilitators on offense for the visiting Blue Jackets.
Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Edmonton Oilers Free Picks
Free Prediction: SU Winner – Blue Jackets, O/U – Over
Three of Edmonton’s last five outings gone under the total.
Power plays and penalty kills could play a key role tonight. The Blue Jackets are 14-19 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 27-24 in games where they’re in the penalty box for fewer than 10 total minutes. The Oilers are 15-9 when the team serves fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 27-23 in games where total penalty minutes are in the single digits.
Columbus is 0-4 in games decided by a shootout this season while Edmonton is 2-2 in shootouts.
Edmonton is ranked 9th with 8.2 takeaways per game. That figure has trended down recently, however, as it has managed 6.5 takeaways over its last 10 games and 7.4 takeaways over its last five.
Columbus is ranked 29th with 6.2 takeaways per game. That figure has trended lower, however, as it’s created 5.3 takeaways over its last 10 games and 5.0 takeaways over its last five.
Edmonton could have an advantage if it’s a tight one late. The team’s 15-12 in games decided by one goal, while Columbus is 19-23 in such games.