The Blue Jackets enter the game at 8-14-5 on the year. It has been a season full of injuries for the Blue Jackets, leading them to make a trade already this year. Last time out, they faced the Los Angeles Kings. The Blue Jackets took the lead on a Kirill Marchenko Power play goal to open the game. Then, in the second period, the Blue Jackets scored twice more to take a 3-0 lead. The Kings would score three times in the first seven minutes of the third period though. With the game going to overtime, the Kings scored just 33 seconds in to take a 4-2 victory.
Meanwhile, the Islanders come into the game at 10-7-7 on the year. Last time out, they faded the San Jose Sharks. The Islanders struck first, just 9:28 into the game, but minutes later, the Sharks tied it up. In the second period, the Islanders scored on a Brock Nelson power-play goal. Then in the third, they scored short-handed and a power play goal to make it a 4-1 lead. Still, in the last ten minutes of the third, the Sharks scored three times, including Tomas Hertl scoring his second and third goal of the game, to tie it up. In the last seconds of overtime, William Eklund scored to give the Sharks and 5-4 comeback victory.
Here are the NHL Odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
NHL Odds: Blue Jackets-Islanders Odds
Columbus Blue Jackets: +158
New York Islanders: -192
Over: 6.5 (-106)
Under: 6.5 (-114)
How to Watch Blue Jackets vs. Islanders
Time: 7:30 PM ET/ 4:30 PM PT
Stream: fuboTV (Click for free trial)
Why The Blue Jackets Will Win
The Blue Jackets have struggled to score this year, coming into the game with just 2.85 goals per game, good for 24th in the NHL. Boone Jenner continues to lead the team in goals and is the only player with more than ten goals in the year. He comes into the game with 13 goals and five assists. Jenner is also second on the team this year in points. He has not done much on the power play though, with just three goals and an assist on the power play this year.
Meanwhile, Zach Werenski comes in leading the team in points this year. He has one goal on the year but leads the team in assists with 18, giving him 19 total points this year. He will go out in a defensive pairing with another offensive threat. Ivan Provorv is tied for third on the team in points this year, coming into the game with two goals and 13 assists on the year.
Second on the team in goals, this year is Kirill Marchenko. He comes into the game with eight of them, plus six assists giving him 14 points. He is also tied with Jenner for the most power-play goals on the team, coming into the game with three power-play goals this year. Meanwhile, Johnny Gaudreau has been solid. Gaudreau comes in with four goals and 11 assists on the year. That places him tied for third on the team in points this year.
The Blue Jackets have struggled on the power play this year. They sit 26th in the NHL this year on the power play with a 13.8 percent conversion percentage and just 11 goals. Still, the Blue Jackets have been great when man down this year. They are fourth in the NHL this year when man-down, killing 87.2 percent of chances this year.
Spencer Martin will be tasked with guarding the case in this one. He is 2-6-1 on the year with a 3.20 goals-against average and a .902 save percentage. He has not been good away from home this year. Away from home, he is 0-3-1 with a 3.66 goals-against average and a .881 save percentage. Martin has also faced the Islanders once this year, allowing two goals on 34 shots but taking the loss.
Why The Islanders Will Win
The Islanders are also not the best-scoring team in the NHL. They are 26th in the NHL in goals scored this year, sitting at just 2.83 goals per game on the season. Brock Nelson is their leading goal scorer on the year and the only man on the team with more than ten goals. He comes into the game with 11 goals and eight assists. That gives him 19 points on the year, which is good for fourth on the team.
Mathew Barzal is the leader in points this year while sitting in a three-way tie for second in goals scored. He has seven goals this year, while also having 16 assists, which gives him 23 points. Tied with him in goals is Bo Horvat, who comes in with seven goals and 13 assists, good for 20 points. Finally, Simon Holmstrom also has seven goals. He has just two assists to go with that though, good for nine points.
The Islanders have been solid on the power play this year. They are seventh in the league in conversion percentage, sitting at 25.4 percent this year, and having 17 power-play goals. Still, the Islanders have struggled on the man-down this year. They are 30th in the NHL in success on the penalty kill at a 73.3 percent success rate.
It will be Semyon Varlamov tending the twine in this game. He is 4-3-1 with a 2.50 goals-against average and a .926 save percentage. Varlamov is coming in off a solid November. In six games he has a .913 save percentage and just a 2.82 goals-against average.
Final Blue Jackets-Islanders Prediction & Pick
Neither goalie in this game is the best in the NHL, but both of them have been very solid when in the cage. Varlamov has been the better goaltender overall, and that may be the difference in this game. Still, both teams struggle to create scoring chances. Neither team has a major goal scorer that can carry the team, and both teams are turnover-prone. While the Islanders will most likely win, that is not the best bet in this game.
Final Blue Jackets-Islanders Prediction & Pick: Under 6.5 (-114)