Both the matchups I have for you today are featuring teams that are on the second night of a back to back. All teams are pretty desperate for wins, so it should bring entertaining matchups.
Columbus Blue Jackets (+165) vs Minnesota Wild (-200)
This game is lining up to be a high-scoring event, as most games featuring the Minnesota Wild these days are. They have allowed at least three goals on 12 of their past 13 games, and one team or the other has scored at least five goals in the game in 11 of those. On the other end the Columbus Blue Jackets have also allowed at least three goals in each of the past 12 games.
Neither team has played very well lately, but the Blue Jackets are a team that has something to prove after getting run out of New York with a 6-0 loss to the Islanders. Tonight they have their starter Elvis Merzlikins in net, giving them a better chance to win. Though just 1-4-2 in their past seven games, four of the past five losses have been by only one goal. So they are in games and have fallen to good teams in the Carolina Hurricanes, Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins, and Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Wild have a record of 4-8-0 in their past 12 games and can’t get good goaltending to save their life. They are coming off a game against the Detroit Red Wings, who have also been horrible defensively, where they just squeaked by in the shootout. They have recently lost games to the Ottawa Senators and Buffalo Sabres, and had close calls against the Philadelphia Flyers and aforementioned Red Wings.
The Blue Jackets are a team with more to prove tonight and are at home where they are much better and where the Wild are much worse. They have great value for the money line and also throw in the over 6.5 (-135) for some extra value for two teams that allow a ton of goals.
New York Islanders (-125) vs Winnipeg Jets (+105)
The second game features two teams that are both coming off of important wins last night. The Islanders dominated the Blue Jackets and the Winnipeg Jets just snuck by the New Jersey Devils. Both the Islanders and Jets have been playing .500 hockey recently and this entire season, both defeating the weaker teams over their recent stretch of games and losing to playoff teams. Neither are playoff teams and they both still have hope they can climb back into the race, and both should feel like every game is a must-win.
The Islanders just can’t seem to win very often when Semyon Varlamov is in net, posting just a 3-12-1 record despite his .911 save percentage (SV%). He has lost his last six starts and there’s not much that makes it look like that will change tonight with his sub-.900 SV% in each of the past three games.
The Jets played their backup goaltender Eric Comrie last night so they have the starter Connor Hellebuyck going tonight. Seen as the better goaltender with a weaker defensive structure, the goaltending matchup goes in favour of the Jets. They are also 4-1-1 in their past six and are in better position to chase a playoff spot in the weaker Western Conference. Take the Jets as the second underdog of the slate.