Columbus Blue Jackets at Minnesota Wild Free NHL Picks & Odds
by Guy Bruhn - 3/14/2014
Saturday, March 15, 8:00 PM on FSOH, FSN
Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, Minnesota
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The Columbus Blue Jackets took advantage of every opportunity they could while making light work of the Minnesota Wild the last time these 2 teams faced off. The well rested Blue Jackets put four on the scoreboard. Backed by goalie Curtis McElhinney, who recorded his first shutout since 2011, the Blue Jackets came away with a 4-0 victory.
With a pretty calm and even first period, the second period would tell another story. The Blue Jackets came out on fire. Cam Atkinson took a pass from Brandon Dubinsky and sent a hard wrist shot in from the top of the right circle. Minnesota Goalie Niklas Backstrom did not see the shot right away and barely made a move toward it before it beat him high off to his right shoulder. Shortly after that, Matt Cook of the Wild went to the box for hooking, giving the Blue Jackets their first power-play and they took advantage. At the 5:40 mark, Nick Foligno took a shot from the right side that was blocked but upon following up on the rebound, he was able to take another stab at it and Backstrom could not keep up. The third period was all Columbus. At the 4:38 mark, Boone Jenner scored followed by another score by R.J. Umberger at the 9:05 mark.
Backstrom did the best he could on net, but found himself facing 41 shots, while Columbus controlled the attack zone. The Wild had a prime chance to get back in the game when they fell into a 5-on-3 situation at 1:13 midway through the second period, but unfortunately they could not convert.
Columbus is 15-18 straight up on the road this season
Columbus is 17-14-2 against the over/under on the road this season
Minnesota is 23-11 straight up at home this season
Minnesota is 10-16-8 against the over/under at home this season
Injuries to Watch
11/27/13 RW Jared Boll Ankle out 4 months
10/17/13 LW Cody Bass Thumb out indefinitely
03/14/14 C Artem Anisimov Personal probable Saturday vs. Minnesota
03/06/14 D Ryan Murray Knee out for season
02/22/14 D Fedor Tyutin Ankle out indefinitely
01/08/14 RW Jack Skille Abdominal out indefinitely
03/12/14 LW Jason Zucker Leg out indefinitely
03/05/14 GO Niklas Backstrom Abdominal out for season
01/06/14 GO Josh Harding Illness out indefinitely
Guy's Pick: Take Minnesota
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