In their second head-to-head meeting of the regular season, the Florida Panthers and the Columbus Blue Jackets take the ice at Nationwide Arena. The action will get started at 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday, December 31, and you will be able to view this Eastern Conference matchup live on Fox SportsNet Florida.
Florida Panthers at Columbus Blue Jackets Odds
Florida is 20-18 straight up (SU) and has netted 0.6 units for moneyline bettors this season. 23 of its outings have gone over the total, while 12 have gone under and just three have pushed. As a road team this season, the Panthers are 7-9 SU.
Florida has converted on 22.8 percent of its power play chances this year, a mark that’s good enough for 10th-best in the league. Its penalty kill is ranked 23rd overall, and it’s successfully killed off 78.8 percent of all penalties.
For the team as a whole, Florida has been penalized just 3.1 times per game this season, and 3.8 per game over its last five games. The team’s had to stave off opponent power plays just 8.0 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Averaging 27.0 saves per game with a .898 save percentage, Sergei Bobrovsky (15-15-4) has been the primary option in goal for Florida this year. If Florida chooses to rest him, however, head coach Joel Quenneville may go with Sam Montembeault (3-4-1), who has a .889 save percentage and 3.31 goals against average this year.
Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov will both spearhead the attack for the visiting Panthers. Huberdeau (53 points) has tallied 16 goals and 37 assists, and has recorded two or more points 14 times. Barkov has 13 goals and 32 assists to his credit (and has logged a point in 25 games).
Columbus is 17-22 straight up (SU) and has lost 3.8 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 39 regular season outings, 23 of its games have gone under the total, while 15 have gone over and just one has pushed. The team is 11-10 SU at home this season.
Columbus has converted on just 16.9 percent of its power play chances this year, a figure that’s ranked 24th in the NHL. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 16th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 80.9 percent of all penalties.
Columbus skaters have been sent to the penalty box 3.4 times per game this season, and 4.6 per game over their past five outings. The team has had to defend opponent power plays 11.0 minutes per game over their last five home outings.
Joonas Korpisalo (25.7 saves per game) has been the primary option in goal for Columbus. Korpisalo has 17 wins, 15 losses, and five overtime losses and has registered a 2.49 goals against average and a .913 save percentage this season.
The Jackets will be led on offense by Pierre-Luc Dubois (13 goals, 14 assists).
Florida Panthers at Columbus Blue Jackets Free Picks
Prediction: SU Winner – Panthers, O/U – Over
Florida (3-3 in shootouts this season) has more experience in games decided by shootout. Columbus has yet to win a shootout this year (0-2).
Four of Columbus’ last five games gone under the total.
This game features two offenses that have pounded opposing nets with shots. Florida has taken the league’s ninth-most shots on goal (33.1) and Columbus’s attempted the eighth-most (33.3).
Four of Columbus’ last ten contests have been decided by two or more goals. The club is 4-0 overall in those games.
Florida skaters notched 23.2 hits per game last season, while the Blue Jackets posted 23.0 hits per matchup.