The Nashville Predators and Columbus Blue Jackets are scheduled to meet at Nationwide Arena on Thursday night. The Predators shook the rust off from the break last night.
It wasn’t the result they wanted, though. In an entertaining contest in Washington, the Capitals scored 2 goals in the 3rd period to bury the Predators.
Nashville showed grit in the 2nd period to erase a 3-0 Capitals’ lead. The Caps went into the first break with a healthy 3-0 lead. However, blew it and then they were able to recover.
A @Capitals game so nice, you ought to watch it twice! (See what we did there)
— MonumentalSportsNet (@MonSportsNet) December 30, 2021
Most teams would have collapsed after giving up a 3-goal lead, but a veteran-led Capitals team is never dead. They regrouped and fired back against the Predators for a multi-goal win.
With the loss, the Predators dropped to 19-11-1 on the season. Despite the losing effort, the Predators have been playing pretty well this season.
They are going into tonight third-best in the Central Division with 39 points. The Preds are just 2 points behind the St. Louis Blues in the division.
Nashville heads to Columbus where the Jackets will play their first game since December 16. That was a 5-2 loss versus the Edmonton Oilers for their fourth loss in five attempts.
The Blue Jackets have been mediocre at 14-13-1 and 29 points. To make matters worse, they are stuck in a tough Metropolitan Division.
There are three teams in the division with at least 42 points. The Blue Jackets aren’t landing a blow versus these clubs.
Head below for our free Predators vs. Blue Jackets pick on December 30, 2021.
Nashville Predators vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Betting Odds and Team Statistics:
The following odds are courtesy of BetOnline:
|Nashville Predators||-1.5 (+205)||-105||Over 5.5 (-116)|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||+1.5 (-245)||-105||Under 5.5 (+105)|
|Team Data||Nashville Predators||Columbus Blue Jackets|
|Goals Per Game||2.94||3.18|
|Goals Against Per Game||2.71||3.36|
|Shots Per Game||29.65||29.86|
|Shots Against Per Game||29.45||34.75|
Predators vs. Blue Jackets Prediction:
After a long break, the Predators can’t complain about being tired on a back-to-back. It was their first game since December 17 and their first loss in eight games.
If anything, they should be at an advantage over the Blue Jackets, who haven’t played in a while.
The Predators are expected to start David Rittich between the pipes after Juuse Saros got the nod last night.
Saros allowed 4 goals on 36 shots for a 0.889 save percentage. That’s about where Rittich has been this year.
Rittich has posted a 3.10 GAA and 0.88 save percentage on the season. He’s had just five appearances this year, so this is a good opportunity for him. The Blue Jackets will be happy to see Rittich.
He’s beatable and the Predators haven’t been at their been on the road defensively. The Predators have conceded 3.12 goals per game on the road as visitors.
Nashville Predators vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Betting Trends:
- 7-1 overall in their previous eight games
- 6-1 overall in their previous seven games versus the Metropolitan Division
- OVER is 5-0 in their previous five games as a betting favorite
- OVER is 7-3 in their previous ten games versus the Eastern Conference
- OVER is 5-2-1 in thier previous eight games on a back-to-back
- 4-1 overall in their previous five games at Columbus
- 2-8 overall in thier previous first ten games
- 2-6 overall in thier previous eight games versus the Western Conference
- OVER is 5-1 in thier previous six games as an underdog
- OVER is 16-5 in their previous 21 games
The Blue Jackets aren’t playing John Tortorella hockey this season. Tortorella hasn’t been part of the program since last year and it’s been noticeable.
They’ve been playing more of an offensive brand of hockey, but sacrificing goals on the other side. Acquiring Patrik Laine had a role in the Jackets going to a more offensive style of hockey.
Columbus is 11th in the NHL with 3.2 goals per game. They’ve been hot at home with 3.62 goals per game. However, allowing 35 shots per game for 32nd in the NHL.
The Jackets have conceded 3.4 goals per game for 26th. Elvis Merzlikins steps into the crease with a 3.11 GAA and 0.911 save percentage this season.
This contest is looking like a 4-3 final score, with the OVER worth considering in Columbus on Thursday night.