In the East, there are two significant matchups that will surely affect each other in the standings. The Washington Capitals look to move up while hosting the St. Louis Blues who are jocking for positioning in the Central Division and the Pittsburgh Penguins take on the Columbus Blue Jackets who are always a tough battle.
Washington Capitals (-140) vs St. Louis Blues (+115)
This matchup between the Capitals and the Blues seems like an easy choice when you look at the direction these teams have been headed in over the past couple of weeks. The Capitals are 7-1-1 and have been scoring a lot, while the Blues have lost seven of nine games.
Despite how the Blues games have ended, the player to watch is David Perron who has been on fire. He has goals in six straight and eight of the past nine, scoring 12 goals in those nine games. There’s no indication that he will slow down anytime soon, as his contract year suggests it’s the perfect time to pick up his game. He can’t carry a team alone and the goaltending has not been great for the Blues, so take the Capitals in this one and the over (O6, -120).
Pittsburgh Penguins (-300) vs Columbus Blue Jackets (+240)
The Penguins may look like the obvious choice in this one, but the Blue Jackets have been a tough opponent, especially lately against other playoff teams. They have just run through the Minnesota Wild, Vegas Golden Knights, and Blues. They have won four of their past five and are desperately trying to stay alive in the hope they can sneak into the playoffs.
This will be the third of four games between these two teams this season, with the first two going in favour of the Penguins. The Penguins have also won four of the past five games and defeated the Golden Knights, Blues, and Carolina Hurricanes. I believe the outcome will come down to the Penguins having the Blue Jackets’ number and the home and away records being too far apart to not notice. Take the Penguins in this one but expect a close battle.
Odds via Yahoo and BetMGM.