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New Jersey vs. Columbus,
12/21/2019 19:00 EDT,
Score: 1 - 5
Money Line: -180 Columbus
6* Columbus (7:05 ET): Already dealing with a long list of injuries, the last thing the Blue Jackets needed was to see Cam Atkinson go down with a lower-body injury on Thursday. Atkinson set career highs in goals, assists and points last season. He's out for at least the next two games. But while the Columbus injury report may be a bit longer than normal, the team is being given some relief Saturday with a visit from last place New Jersey. Not only are the Devils second to last in the league in points, this is a horrendous spot for them having played in Washington last night (lost 6-3).
The Devils were tied 2-2 for most of the second period last night, but then came a four-goal blitz by the Capitals that put the game out of reach. Having recently traded Taylor Hall, morale is low in New Jersey even though they'd won two in a row prior to last night's setback. The team still has just 27 points and has been outscored by 39 goals. Only Detroit is worse in both regards.
Columbus has won three games in a row, the last two coming against last place teams Detroit and Los Angeles. So this should be "old hat" for them. Also it should be noted that the win streak began w/ a very impressive 3-0 shutout of the Capitals. Prior to that, Washington hadn't been shutout this season. This is arguably the best stretch C-bus has had all season and I see it continuing at the expense of a very bad team playing in a bad spot. The Blue Jackets are 7-1 vs. the Devils over the last three seasons. 6* Columbus