The Columbus Blue Jackets (12-7-2) and Toronto Maple Leafs (15-6-0) meet at the Nationwide Arena on Friday night, with both teams currently sitting top of their Divisions, the Metropolitan Division and the Atlantic Division respectively.
The teams were last in action against each other on Monday evening in the reverse fixture at the Scotiabank Arena, with the Maple Leafs coming out 4-2 winners. That was despite trailing 2-0 at the end of the 1st Period.
In that game, Cam Atkinson and Pierre-Luc Dubois gave the Blue Jackets the early advantage, before goals from Tyler Ennis, John Tavares and a double from Zach Hyman secured the win for the Maple Leafs.
The Maple Leafs were on the road at the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday evening, but the Blue Jackets could benefit from the extra rest, with this being their first action since the loss in Toronto.
The Blue Jackets currently average 3.38 Goals per Game, which places them 5th in the overall NHL standings for the season. Defensively they are less impressive, allowing 3.14 Goals per Game to leave them 20th overall.
The Maple Leafs are averaging 3.52 Goals per Game to leave them 4th in the overall NHL standings, while defensively they are allowing 2.52 Goals per Game, which also leaves them 4th overall there. That’s impressive on both counts and explains why they feature in many tipsters Stanley Cup predictions.
Even so, home-ice advantage and the benefit of a few days extra rest makes the Blue Jackets the picks on the Money Line betting odds. Pick: Money Line – Columbus Blue Jackets @ -118 (888sport)