Using our OddsTrader BetStation, we were able to place tonight’s NHL picks based on AI-generated information.
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Washington Capitals vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
Tuesday, January 31, 2023 – 07:00 PM EST at Nationwide Arena
It’s been a bumpy road the last week for this Washington Capitals team who have lost three of their previous four games and even their one victory required a penalty shootout win when they beat the Penguins 3-2.
Currently 4th in the Metropolitan Division and in the middle of a playoff race with a 26-20-6 overall record, the Capitals are seeking a 4th win in a row over the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets who rank as one of the worst teams in the league.
Washington has scored 3.10 goals per game this season with a 20.6% powerplay success rate, both of which are ranked 17th and 19th respectively, although that’s nowhere near strong enough to suggest a potential Stanley Cup victory.
Their offense relies heavily on captain Alex Ovechkin who has scored 54 points in 51 games. Ovechkin has scored 32 goals. With the second-highest on the roster having 13, it’s clear to see why the Capitals struggle offensively so much. If Ovechkin isn’t on it, it’s likely the Capitals will struggle.
Defensively, however, the Capitals have fared a little stronger allowing 2.83 goals per game, which is the 10th-best overall in the NHL as well as the 8th-best penalty kill unit in the league hitting at 82%.
Columbus Blue Jackets
The Columbus Blue Jackets are the worst team in the Eastern Conference right now, and by a long shot as they have seen a record of 15-32-3 overall, which is currently leaving them almost six wins behind the second-worst team in the conference. In fact, their 33 points overall are also the lowest in the league by four points.
The Blue Jackets are very much in rebuild mode and looking toward next season. They generate most of their offense through Johnny Gaudreau who may now regret going there in the first place.
They allow the 3rd most amount of goals with 3.84 against per game and have scored the second-lowest amount of goals per game at just 2.44. It seems Elvis Merzlikins will be starting goaltender tonight. Thus far this season he has allowed 4.42 goals per game with a 15-35 win-to-loss record.
The Washington Capitals are currently in the first wild card spot but could be bumped out of the playoff race if they don’t start picking up some wins after the All-Star break. A win before the break would be a good start.
Washington has a great opportunity to do so as they face this Columbus Blue Jackets team who can’t seem to buy a win these days having now lost 16 of their previous 20 games as well as the fact 2 of their 4 victories required overtime and a penalty shootout.
OddsTrader is predicting a 3-1 Washington Capitals victory with the -1.5 PK line the best value bet at +125 with Bet365.
Although the Capitals have been struggling as of late, the Blue Jackets have lost 7 of their previous 9 by 2+ goals on home ice, and when NHL odds of +150 or more at home, the Blue Jackets have failed to win on all six occasions.
This is the perfect bounce-back spot for Washington after their humiliating 5-1 loss last time out to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Although nothing is set in stone, a loss for the visiting Capitals could be cause for concern if they wish to make this year’s playoffs with the Buffalo Sabres and Pittsburgh Penguins breathing down their necks having played two games less and within just one win.
Final Score Prediction: Washington Capitals 3 – Columbus Blue Jackets 1
NHL Pick: Washington Capitals -1.5 (+125) at Bet365