The NHL is set up with a great night of action throughout February 27. Fourteen games are up on the board throughout Saturday. One of these games will be between the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Nashville Predators. These two teams have struggled a bit so far this season, but will look to grab a win in this one. This game will drop the puck at around 3:00 PM Eastern time.
The Blue Jackets have put up a record of 8-8-5 throughout the beginning of this season, which has them sitting in fifth place of the Central Division. Columbus has lost three games in a row and five of their last six games. The Blue Jackets will look to turn it around in this one with a big win on Saturday afternoon. Columbus has struggled as of late and will look to earn a win in this one.
Nashville has started this season out with a record of 8-11, which has them sitting in seventh place of the Central Division. The Predators are coming off a loss, which ended a two game winning streak. Nashville will look to turn it around in this meeting. The Predators are falling hard in the standings and need to pick up their play quickly.
These two teams have been struggling early in this season, but will look to grab a big win in this one. The Predators are coming off a tough loss to the Detroit Red Wings, while Columbus was swept by the Blackhawks in a two game series. Both teams will look to generate momentum early in this one to grab a win on Saturday afternoon.
The Blue Jackets and the Predators have met up four times throughout this season. Nashville hosted the first game on January 14. Boone Jenner opened up the scoring, but it was not enough. Luke Kunin, Filip Forsberg and Calle Jarnkrok all scored for the Predators on the night. Juuse Saros finished with 29 saves on 30 shots as Nashville won 3-1.
The second game of the season series stayed in Nashville on January 16. Alexandre Texier had a goal and an assist, while Michael Del Zotto had two assists. It was not enough in this one though. Filip Forberg, Rocco Grimaldi, Luke Kunin, Brad Richardson and Colton Sissons all had a goal for the Predators. Nashville dominated for a 5-2 win on the night.
The third game of the season series shifted to Columbus on February 18. Juuse Saros finished with 19 saves on 21 shots, but it was not enough. Cam Atkinson, Max Domi and Eric Robinson all had goals for the Blue Jackets. Elvis Merzlikins finished with a 32 save shutout as the Blue Jackets were able to grab a 3-0 win in this one.
Columbus also hosted the fourth game of the season series on February 20. Boone Jenner and Gabriel Carlsson each scored for the Blue Jackets in the second period, but it would not be enough. Calle Jarnkrok had two goals on the night, while Filip Forsberg and Colton Sissons each had one. Pekka Rinne finished with 21 saves on 23 shots as the Predators won 4-2.
Columbus has not been great on special teams to this point in the season. The Blue Jackets have scored 10 power play goals on 52 chances, which is a 19.2 percent power play. Columbus has killed off 34 of their 47 penalties against, which is A 72.3 percent kill rate. The Blue Jackets will look to step up on special teams in this one.
The Predators have struggled on both sides of special teams as well this season. Nashville has capitalized on 12 of their 67 power play attempts, which is a 17.9 percent success rate. The Predators have also given up 19 power play goals on their opponents 64 opportunities, which is a 70.3 percent penalty kill. Nashville will look to step up in this one as well.
The Blue Jackets have a slight edge on special teams coming into this one. Columbus has been slightly better on the power play and penalty kill, but Nashville has been solid on the power play as of late. If either team can break through on the power play in this one, it could give them the edge. I expect both teams to play carefully as they try to stay out of the box though.
I expect Joonas Korpisalo to get the start between the pipes for the Blue Jackets in this one. Korpisalo has started in 14 games this season, going 5-5-4. He has put up a .890 save percentage and a GAA of 3.37 in those games. Korpisalo’s last start was against the Chicago Blackhawks, where he stopped 25 of 26 shots in the loss.
Juuse Saros will likely get the nod in the crease for Nashville on Saturday afternoon. Saros has earned a record of 3-5 throughout his games played this season. He has posted a save percentage of .882 and a 2.52 GAA in this one. Saros finished with 19 saves on 21 shots in his last start against the Blue Jackets on February 18.
These two goalies have not had the best starts to this season so far. Korpisalo has struggled a bit, losing his last five starts. Saros will look to use the week of rest to his advantage as he gets a start in this one. If either goalie can set the pace early on Saturday, it could be enough to help lead their team to the win. I expect a strong showing as both goalies could really use this win.
The Blue Jackets are coming into this one on a three game losing streak, which they will look to turn around with a win on Saturday. Columbus has struggled a bit throughout this season, but will look to use special teams to their advantage in this one. If Korpisalo can build off of Thursday nights loss, where he had a strong night, it could propel the Blue Jackets to the win.
BetOnline has Nashville listed as a -131 against the money line in this one. This implies that the Predators will win this game around 56.7 percent of the time. I do not think that this line should be this big. Neither one of these teams has impressed so far this season. The Predators are 3-1 against Columbus so far this season, but I think the Blue Jackets will get a win in this one.