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Blue Jackets-Islanders Contest Tonight Has Huge Playoff Implications

The New York Islanders prepare to play against the Philadelphia Flyers at NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum on March 09, 2019 in Uniondale, New York. The Flyers defeated the Islanders 5-2.

With losses in six of their last 10 games (4-5-1 SU), the New York Islanders’ path to their first division title since 1988 has gotten a little tougher. The Isles, who trail the Washington Capitals by four points for the top spot in the Metropolitan Division, welcome the Columbus Blue Jackets to Long Island tonight. Sportsbooks opened the Blue Jackets as +100 road underdogs with a total of 6.

Blue Jackets vs Islanders Game Center

Standout Stats

  • New York’s 3-2 win over Columbus on December 1 improved the Islanders to 10-1-4 SU in their past 15 home games against the Blue Jackets. The Isles are only 1-6 SU in their past seven home games against divisional opponents, however.
  • The Blue Jackets have struggled to find chemistry after multiple high-profile deals at the NHL trade deadline, yet they looked much better in Saturday’s 4-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. If Columbus is going to make a playoff push, it’s going to need Artemi Panarin to get going. The Russian has been held off the scoresheet in four of his last five games.
  • The Islanders are mired in an 0-for-18 stretch on the power play in their last eight games. Home-ice advantage has been nearly non-existent with the man advantage at Nassau Coliseum, as the Isles are on a 4-for-45 run on the power play at home.
  • Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss has flustered Columbus this season by turning aside 59 of 61 shots from the Blue Jackets, including all 31 that came his way in a 3-0 shutout in the last meeting between the squads on February 14.
  • When the Jackets hit the road, low-scoring affairs tend to follow. Columbus has gone UNDER in each of its past four road contests with an average combined score of 3.5 goals. Since the all-star break, the Blue Jackets are averaging a mere 2.61 goals per game – the 21st-best mark in the league.

My best bet for Blue Jackets-Islanders

UNDER 6 goals

The Blue Jackets and Islanders have been two of the top UNDER teams in the NHL this season, as Columbus boasts an O/U record of 26-36 and New York’s sits at 24-40. Tonight’s matchup has all the makings of yet another UNDER game due to the Islanders’ recent offensive struggles and the Blue Jackets’ penchant for going below totals on the road. I’m a little surprised this total didn’t open at 5.5, so take the UNDER 6 if you can.