Columbus (33-13-5) at Detroit (22-21-9)
When: Tuesday, February 7th 2017
Where: Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, MI
Time: 7:35 ET | TV: FSN Ohio, FSN Detroit
The Detroit Red Wings start a brutal stretch of games when they host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night at Joe Louis Arena. The Wings, who have won two in a row, play Columbus and Washington twice each as well at Central Division-leading Minnesota and defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh in the next seven games. Detroit is coming off a 1-0 shutout of another good team in Nashville as goaltender Petr Mrazek recorded his first shutout of the season, but still has a goals-against-average above three. His 42-save effort was a good sign as leading netminder Jimmy Howard has been sidelined since December 20th with a knee injury. The Red Wings will be without forward Frans Nielsen and defenseman Niklas Kronwall for “at least a couple more games,” coach Jeff Blashill said. Detroit’s league-worst power play is 2-for-30 over the last nine games. The Red Wings are currently six points out of the playoffs with five teams in front of them and Philadelphia.
The Blue Jackets club-record 16 game winning streak earlier this season is a thing of the past as the team is 6-8-1 since and will look to avoid their first three-game losing streak of the year. Columbus returned from a five-game road trip and were throttled 5-1 by the New Jersey Devils on Saturday. Columbus is tied for the third-best record in hockey, but the goaltending is becoming an issue of late as they have allowed at least four goals in six consecutive games. All-Star goalie Sergei Bobrovsky has allowed four goals in each of his last four starts and none of the four goaltenders utilized over the past month has a save percentage above .895. Bobrovsky is 7-4-1 with two shutouts in his career versus Detroit. Columbus owns the league’s No. 1 power play but has had only four chances in the last five games, failing on each one. Forward Cam Atkinson had a goal and assist in a 4-1 win over the Red Wings on December 9th, giving him eight goals in 16 games against them.
Detroit is coming off a solid win while the Blue Jackets are struggling right now. I can’t lay 130 on a team that is allowing this many goals recently. I’ll take the home dog.
Pick: Red Wings +120