Montreal Canadiens vs. Columbus Blue Jackets - 2/2/20 NHL Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Photo by Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports
Columbus Blue Jackets (27-16-9) at Montreal Canadiens (23-22-7)
NHL Hockey: Sunday, February 2, 2020 at 2:00 pm (Bell Centre)
The Line: Montreal Canadiens -139 / Columbus Blue Jackets +115 --- Over/Under: 5.5
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The Columbus Blue Jackets and the Montreal Canadiens meet in NHL action from the Bell Centre on Sunday afternoon.
The Columbus Blue Jackets will look to rebound from a 2-1 overtime loss to Buffalo last time out. Buffalo opened the scoring with the lone goal of the opening period with 3:52 to go in the 1st, and the Sabres would hold that lead through the 2nd and into the 3rd before Oliver Bjorkstrand tied the game at one for Columbus less than six minutes into the 3rd period. The rest of the 3rd wouldn’t produce a winner on either side, so it was off to overtime where the Sabres found the game-winning goal just :36 into the extra frame. Matiss Kivienieks took the OT loss, falling to 1-0-1 on the year after stopping 22 of 24 shots faced in the losing effort.
The Montreal Canadiens will look to build on back-to-back wins after a 4-0 win over Florida last time out. Nick Suzuki opened the scoring for the Habs just over five minutes into the game before Artturi Lehkonen doubled the lead six minutes into the 2nd period and Tomas Tatar pushed Montreal’s lead to 3-0 by the end of the 2ndperiod. Brendan Gallagher added a 4th goal for Montreal just after the midway point of the 3rd to give the Habs an already insurmountable lead that they would ride to the finish line. Carey Price got the win to improve to 22-17-4 on the year after stopping all 29 shots faced in the winning effort for his 3rd shutout of the season.
Columbus is 5-2 in their last 7 games against a team with a losing record and 6-1 in their last 7 games against the Eastern Conference while the under is 13-3 in their last 16 games overall. Montreal is 4-10 in their last 14 games playing on no rest and 2-5 in their last 7 games against a team with a winning record while the under is 7-1-1 in their last 9 games overall. Columbus is 1-4 in the last 5 meetings between these two teams in Montreal.
The plus money with Columbus is tempting as the Blue Jackets have been playing better hockey between the two over the last month or so, but the problem I have is that the Blue Jackets don’t have a ton of top-tier talent in goal right now, and that was with Korpisalo when he was healthy. Montreal has come out of the all-star break strong, and while it’s hard to go on a back-to-back, it tends to be easier when both games are at home and you get to sleep in your own bed. I’ll lay the juice with Montreal in this one.