Columbus Blue Jackets vs New York Islanders NHL Pick – March 31

The NHL is set up with another great slate of games throughout March 31. Nine games are up on the board throughout Thursday night. One of these games will be between the Columbus Blue Jackets and the New York Islanders. These two teams have been solid throughout this season and will look for a big win in this one. This game will drop the puck at around 7:00 PM Eastern time on ESPN+ and HULU.

Columbus has earned a record of 32-30-5 throughout this season, which has them sitting in fifth place of the Metropolitan division. The Blue Jackets have lost four games in a row and five of their last six. Columbus is fifteen points out of the final wild card spot, which will be tough to catch. I expect the Blue Jackets to come out fast on the road in this one though.

The Islanders have put up a record of 29-27-9 so far this season, which has them in sixth place of the Metropolitan division. New York is coming off a win in their last game and has won five of their last eight. The Islanders are seventeen points out of a wild card spot, but have three games in hand. New York will look to come out fast at home as they try to make a late push.

These two teams are still in the running for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference, but have a long ways to go. The Blue Jackets have struggled a bit as of late, which has really hurt their chances. New York has games in hand, which goes in their favor of trying to catch up. If either team can come out quickly in this one, it could be enough for the win.

Game Overview

The following odds are courtesy of Bovada:

Teams Spread Money Line Total
Columbus Blue Jackets +1 ½ (-140) +165 Over 6 (-120)
New York Islanders -1 ½ (+120) -195 Under 6 (+100)

 

Team Data Columbus Blue Jackets New York Islanders
Overall Record 32-30-5 29-27-9
Away/ Home Record 14-16-2 17-13-4
Goals Per Game 3.21 2.72
Goals Per Game Away/ Home 2.97 2.76
Save Percentage .895 .917
Save Percentage Away/ Home .894 .925

Betting Trends

Columbus Blue Jackets

  • 5-8 in March
  • 8-14 against divisional opponents
  • 11-10 after a division game
  • 17-17 after allowing four or more goals
  • 3-2 after three or more straight losses
  • 15-7 against team with a losing record

New York Islanders

  • 9-7 in March
  • 8-8 against divisional opponents
  • 8-7 after a divisional game
  • 7-13 after scoring four or more goals
  • 21-11 against team with a losing record

These two teams have met up three times throughout this season. Oliver Bjorkstrand had three assists in the first matchup as Columbus earned a 3-2 win in overtime. Anders Lee had a hat trick in the second meeting, while Anthony Beauvillier and Ryan Pulock both had three assists. The Islanders bounced back with a 6-0 win. Brock Nelson had a goal and an assist in the third game as New York won 4-3.

Special Teams

The Blue Jackets have struggled a bit on special teams throughout this season. Columbus has scored on 33 of their 175 power play chances, which is an 18.9 percent power play. The Blue Jackets have killed off 151 of their opponents 195 power play attempts, which is a 77.4 percent kill rate. Columbus is 24th on the power play and 20th on the kill.

New York has been solid on both sides of special teams on the season. The Islanders have capitalized on 34 of their 165 power play opportunities, which is a 20.6 percent success rate. New York has given up 27 power play goals on 161 penalties against, which is an 83.2 percent penalty kill. The Islanders are 18th on the man advantage and 6th on the penalty kill.

The Islanders have the edge on special teams in this one and will look to come out fast on the power play. New York will look for their penalty kill to also shut down Columbus early. The Islanders scored the only power play goal in their last meeting on March 29. If either team can get a power play goal in this one, it could be enough for the win.

Goaltending Comparison

Elvis Merzlikins will likely get the nod in the crease for Columbus in this one. Merzlikins has started in 43 games this season, going 22-16-5 in those matchups. He has posted a .902 save percentage and a GAA of 3.40 in those outings. Merzlikins finished with 25 saves on 29 shots in his last start against New York, which was not enough for the win.

I expect Ilya Sorokin to get the start between the pipes for the Islanders on Thursday night. Sorokin has earned a record of 22-14-7 in his 43 starts. He has put up a save percentage of .927 and a 2.30 GAA in his games played. Sorokin’s last start was against the Tampa Bay Lightning. He stopped 18 of 20 shots in the losing effort.

These two goalies have been solid throughout this season and will look for a big win in this one. Merzlikins has lost three straight starts and four of his last five. Sorokin has lost two of his last three starts. Both goalies will look to come out quicker in this one. If either goalie can set the pace early, it could be enough for the win.

Pick Overview

These two teams have been solid throughout this season and will look for a big win in this one. The Blue Jackets have struggled a bit in their last two games against New York, but will look for a win in this one. These two teams are in the second half of a back to back. Columbus lost the first game, but I think they can bounce back in this one.

Bovada has the Islanders listed as a -195 against the money line in this one. This implies that New York will win this game around 66.1 percent of the time. I think that this line should be closer to even both teams competing in the standings. The Blue Jackets have lost four games in a row, but I think they are due for a win. As underdogs in this one, I like the value on Columbus.

The Bet
Columbus Blue Jackets
+165
Andruw Burling / Author

Andruw Burling has been writing sports picks since 2017, covering mainly NHL and NBA content, but doing work in other sports as well. Andruw grew up in Las Vegas and has been around sports since a young age. He grew up a huge NHL and NBA fan and continues to use that knowledge in his content today.

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