The NHL is set up with another great night of action on April 12. Eight games are up on the board throughout Monday night. One of these games will be between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Columbus Blue Jackets. These two teams have struggled a bit this season and they will need a bit win in this one. This matchup will drop the puck at around 7:00 PM Eastern time on NHL Network.
Chicago has put up a record of 19-18-5 throughout this season, which has them sitting in fifth place of the Central Division. The Blackhawks are only two points out of the fourth seed in the Central and will look to tie up the Predators with a win. Chicago has won two of their last three games and will look to keep getting back on track in this one.
The Blue Jackets have earned a record of 15-20-8 to this point in the season, which has them sitting in seventh place of the Central Division. Columbus is seven points out of a playoff spot and need to turn it around quickly if they want to make a push. The Blue Jackets have lost back to back games and nine of their last eleven. Columbus will look to get back in the win column in this matchup.
These two teams are both sitting out of the playoff picture with the last month of the season looming and will look to finish strong to try and grab the fourth seed in the Central. The Blackhawks have picked up their play a bit as of late and will look to keep it going in this one. Columbus continues to falter down the line and will look to change things up in this one.
The Blackhawks and the Blue Jackets have met up seven times throughout this season. Chicago hosted the first two games of the season series on January 29 and 31. Oliver Bjorkstrand had a goal and an assist in the first game as Columbus won 2-1. Patrick Kane and Philipp Kurashev both had a goal and an assist in the second game as the Blackhawks won 3-1.
The third and fourth game of the season series stayed in Chicago on February 11 and 13. Cam Atkinson had a goal and three assists in the third game to lift the Blue Jackets to a big 6-5 win on the night. Atkinson scored a goal and an assist in the fourth game, but it was not enough. Patrick Kane had two assists as the Blackhawks won 3-2.
Columbus hosted the fifth and sixth game of the season series on February 23 and 25. Patrick Kane had a goal and three assists in the fifth game. Carl Soderberg added a goal and two assists as Chicago won 6-5. Patrick Kane and Carl Soderberg both scored in the sixth game as well. Malcolm Subban finished with a 26 shot shutout as the Blackhawks won 2-0 on the road.
The seventh and most recent game of the season series stayed in Columbus on April 10. Cam Atkinson, Michael Del Zotto and Patrik Laine all scored for the Blue Jackets, but it was not enough. Alex DeBrincat finished with a goal and an assist, while Calvin de Haan had two assists. Dylan Strome scored the game winner to lift the Blackhawks to a 4-3 win on the road.
Chicago has been strong on the power play throughout this season. The Blackhawks have capitalized on 32 of their 131 power play opportunities, which is a 24.4 percent success rate. Chicago has struggled on the penalty kill throughout this season. The Blackhawks have given up 31 power play goals on 116 penalties against, which is a 73.3 percent penalty kill.
The Blue Jackets have not gotten much going on the power play this season. Columbus has scored on 14 of their 100 power play attempts, which is a 14 percent power play. The Blue Jackets have been around the league average on the penalty kill. Columbus has killed off 82 of their opponents 105 power play chances, which is a 78.1 percent kill rate.
The Blackhawks have a big edge on the power play in this one, but Columbus has the better penalty kill. If the Blue Jackets can get their power play going against Chicago’s penalty kill, they could grab the win. The Blackhawks will look to control special teams in this one as they try to earn a win in this one. I expect the power play to play a big role in this one.
Kevin Lankinen will likely get the nod in the net for the Blackhawks on Monday night. Lankinen has started in 30 games this season, going 15-11-4 throughout those games. He has posted a .915 save percentage and a GAA of 2.78. Lankinen finished with 23 saves on 26 shots in his last start against the Blue Jackets, which was enough for the win.
I expect Joonas Korpisalo will get the start between the pipes for Columbus in this one. Korpisalo has earned a record of 9-11-6 throughout this season. He has put up a save percentage of .899 and a 3.10 GAA. Korpisalo’s last start was against the Tampa Bay Lightning, where he stopped 3 of 6 shots before getting pulled in the loss.
Chicago has the edge in net in this one with Lankinen getting the nod in the crease. Korpisalo has struggled throughout this season and is coming off a tough start. The Blue Jackets will look to help give Korpisalo some extra help in this one as they try to grab a big win in this one. If either goalie can come out strong in this meeting, it could be enough to lead their team to the win.
The Blue Jackets have lost four in a row to Chicago after starting out the season series up 2-1. Columbus has lost all three games at home to the Blackhawks. I think that the Blue Jackets can bounce back in this one though. If Columbus can step up on special teams in this one and get a good performance from Korpisalo, I think they can end the season series with a win.
BetOnline has Chicago listed as a -111 against the money line in this one. This implies that the Blackhawks will win this game around 52.6 percent of the time. I think that this line is right with Chicago being slightly better throughout this season. I expect the Blue Jackets to come out faster in this one though. As home underdogs, I really like the value on Columbus.