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NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Rangers vs. Blue Jackets (Jan. 27)

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Rangers vs. Blue Jackets (Jan. 27) article feature image
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Kirk Irwin/Getty Images. Pictured: Zach Werenski

Rangers vs. Blue Jackets Odds

Rangers Odds -200
Blue Jackets Odds +170
Over/Under 6.5
Time 7 p.m. ET
TV ESPN+
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The Columbus Blue Jackets suffered their most embarrassing loss of the season on Wednesday night. Not only did the Jackets lose, 6-0, on home ice but they were also outshot 62-23 by the Calgary Flames. The 62 shots allowed were a franchise record for Columbus.

The Jackets have the chance to quickly move on from the defeat, however, as the New York Rangers travel to Columbus on Thursday night. The Rangers have won three of their last four games and are coming off a win against the Kings on Monday night.

Can the Blue Jackets Bounce Back?

Wednesday night’s loss for the Blue Jackets was their fourth defeat in five contests and the team has been outscored, 23-7, in that span.

The Jackets had a modest start to the season, but their underlying metrics always pointed to this team being closer to the bottom of the pack than to the middle. On defense Columbus ranks last in expected goals allowed, shots on goal allowed and third-last in high-danger scoring chances allowed, which is making life really tough on goaltenders Elvis Merzlikins and Joonas Korpisalo.

The offense hasn’t been much better. The Jackets are only generating 9.82 high-danger scoring chances (30th) and 2.32 expected goals for (24th) per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 and even though they’ve scored at a decent clip, regression was always going to come for this offense.


The Rangers Get the Job Done

Chris Kreider scored his league-leading 30th goal on Monday night against the Los Angeles Kings and it was assisted by Adam Fox, who leads all defensemen with 39 assists. The Rangers are a team built to win with skill and their star players are answering the bell right now.

The theme for this season at Madison Square Garden is New York getting the job done despite getting outplayed at 5-on-5. The Rangers currently sport the worst expected goals rate (44.3%) and the ninth-worst high-danger scoring chance rate (45.3%). With the talent they have and Igor Shesterkin in goal, the Rangers don’t need to control play to win games. And that’s exactly what they’ve done this season.

Shesterkin is among the best goalies in the NHL, but he may get the night off with the Rangers playing against Minnesota on Friday.

Georgiev hasn’t been all that bad this season, but he is certainly a few levels below Shesterkin in terms of talent. Georgiev is 7-6-2 on the season and has skated to a .902 save percentage and a -3.0 Goals Saved Above Expected (GSAx).

Blue Jackets vs. Rangers Pick

Even if Georgiev starts, the Rangers have the goaltending edge in this match as Joonas Korpisalo has struggled to a -8.0 GSAx and an .881 save percentage in 15 games this season.

Additionally, New York’s biggest weakness is its inability to drive play at 5-on-5 and the Blue Jackets are not the type of team to take advantage of that, as Columbus ranks near the bottom of the league in expected goals rate and high-danger chance rate as well.

The Rangers are 2-0 and outscored Columbus, 9-3, in two games this season and I don’t see that changing on Thursday.

New York is 15-8-2 on the road, so the team has shown its game can translate well away from Madison Square Garden. With Columbus’ defensive deficiencies, the Rangers should be able to get the separation needed to get the job done in 60 minutes.

Pick: New York Rangers to win in regulation (-135 or better)

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