Squaring off for the final time this season, the Minnesota Wild and the Columbus Blue Jackets meet at Nationwide Arena. Fox Sports North will showcase this East-West matchup, and the puck drops at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, February 28.
Minnesota Wild vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Odds
Minnesota (+110) is entering this one as the underdog to Columbus (-130), and the Over/Under (O/U) has been set at 6 goals. The odds for betting the total stand at -110 for the over and -110 on the under at BetMGM Sportsbook.
The Blue Jackets are 31-34 straight up (SU) and have disappointed moneyline bettors to the tune of -1.0 unit so far. That early-season winning percentage is a slide from what the team managed during last year’s regular season (47-35). Through 65 regular season matches, 38 of its games have gone under the total, while 26 have gone over and just one has pushed. The team’s 19-15 SU at home this year.
Columbus has converted on just 16.2 percent of its power play chances this year, a figure that’s ranked 27th overall in the NHL. On the other hand, its penalty kill is rated 12th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 81.6 percent of all penalties.
Columbus, as a collective unit, has been penalized just 2.9 times per game overall this season, and 1.2 per game over its past five match ups. The team’s had to kill penalties for just 3.8 minutes per game over its last 10 outings, overall.
Averaging 25.4 saves per game with a .914 save percentage, Joonas Korpisalo (18-15-5) has been the principal goalkeeper for the Blue Jackets this year. If they choose to give him the evening off, however, it could go with Elvis Merzlikins (13-19-19 record, .922 save percentage, 2.39 goals against average).
The Jackets will continue looking for leadership via Pierre-Luc Dubois and Gustav Nyquist. Dubois (46 points) has tallied 18 goals and 28 assists and has recorded two or more points on nine different occasions this year. Nyquist has 12 goals and 27 assists to his credit and has notched at least one point in 30 contests.
Minnesota has lost 2.0 units for bettors taking the moneyline this year and is currently 31-32 straight up (SU). Through 63 regular season matches, 30 of its games have gone over the total, while 27 have gone under the total and just five have pushed. As the away team, Minnesota is 13-17 SU.
Minnesota has converted on 21.0 percent of its power play opportunities this year, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 27th overall and it’s successfully killed off 76.5 percent of all opponent power plays.
Minnesota’s skaters have been whistled for penalties 3.5 times per game this season, and 2.2 per game over their past five games. The team has had to stave off opponent power plays just 7.1 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Alex Stalock (25.2 saves per game) has been the main option in goal for Minnesota. Stalock owns an 18-15-4 record, and has registered a .908 save percentage and 2.68 goals against average this year.
Leading the offensive push for the visiting Wild will be Kevin Fiala (18 goals, 27 assists) and Eric Staal (19 goals, 26 assists).
Minnesota Wild at Columbus Blue Jackets Free Picks
Free NHL Pick: SU Winner – Blue Jackets, O/U – Under
For both of these clubs, the total has gone over in each of their last five matchups.
Minnesota has managed 30.4 shot attempts per game over its last five road games while Columbus is averaging 35.4 shots per game over its last five home outings.
The Wild are 10-11 SU in games where they serve more penalty minutes than their opponent while the Blue Jackets are 9-11 SU when they spend more time in the box than the opposition.
Two of Minnesota’s past 10 outings have gone to a shootout. The team’s 1-1 in those games and 2-3 overall in shootouts this season.
Columbus is ranked 28th overall this season with 6.3 takeaways per game. That figure’s trended lower, however, as the team has averaged 4.7 takeaways over its last 10 games and 5.2 takeaways over its last five.
Minnesota is ranked 24th with 6.6 takeaways per game. That figure has trended down recently, however, as it’s forced 5.5 takeaways over its last 10 games and 5.0 takeaways over its last five.