Columbus (24-16-3) at Toronto (25-16-2)
When: Monday, January 8th 2018
Where: Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario
Time: 7:05 ET | TV: NHL Network
Opening Odds: OFF
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The Toronto Maple Leafs continue their six-game homestand and seek their third consecutive win when they host the Columbus Blue Jackets in the only NHL game on the schedule Monday night. If you’re not a fan of the SEC or College Football, then this is the game for you. Both clubs sit in third place in their respective Eastern Conference divisions and one point separates the two. Toronto, which is 2-1-0 on the current homestand, defeated San Jose on Thursday in a shootout and rallied from two goals down two days later to knock off Vancouver 3-2 – also in a shootout – as they’ve regrouped after losing three straight games. Toronto center Tyler Bozak scored the tying goal and the deciding tally in the shootout Saturday. Toronto will try to avenge a 4-2 loss at Columbus last month and break a string in which the Blue Jackets have won five of six in the series. Columbus won for only the second time in six games (2-3-1) as they outlasted Florida 3-2 in an eight-round shootout yesterday after rookie center Pierre-Luc Dubois recorded a goal and an assist. The Blue Jackets have scored only four times in the last four games, but recorded a pair of power-play goals in a game for the second time this season on Sunday.
Dubois (nine goals, 12 assists) became the fifth player to reach the 20-point plateau for Columbus and left wing Artemi Panarin snapped a three-game drought with his team-leading 35th point Sunday. Defenseman Seth Jones recorded a pair of assists in the shootout win to tie forward Oliver Bjorkstrand for second on the team with 26 points and has four goals while setting up seven others in his past 12 games. Boone Jenner is now on a four-game point drought despite seven shots on net and fellow forward Josh Anderson had the shootout winner Sunday, but is pointless in the same four games.
Center Auston Matthews is getting hot again, scoring four times in the last four games and boasts six games in seven games since coming back from an upper-body injury while leading the team in goals (19) and points (33) overall. Toronto defenseman Travis Dermott, a second-round pick in 2015, made his NHL debut Saturday and finished with an assist, one shot and two hits in 12:03 of ice time. The Maple Leafs are 11-2-0 when Bozak (eight goals, 13 assists) records a point in a game this season. Goalie Frederik Andersen has allowed exactly two goals in each of the last three games after allowing 11 on the three-game road trip prior.
This Toronto team hit a little bit of a rough patch in December, but seems to have regrouped and should be a threat in the Eastern Conference playoffs. They have the luxury tonight of getting a tired Columbus team who needed overtime to get past Florida yesterday. I’ll take the home team.
Pick: Maple Leafs -165
- Blue Jackets are 6-13 in their last 19 Monday games.
- Blue Jackets are 32-87 in their last 119 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
- Blue Jackets are 1-4 in their last 5 overall.
- Blue Jackets are 1-4 in their last 5 vs. Atlantic.
- Blue Jackets are 1-4 in their last 5 vs. Eastern Conference.
- Blue Jackets are 1-6 in their last 7 road games.
- Maple Leafs are 5-1 in their last 6 home games.
- Maple Leafs are 6-2 in their last 8 Monday games.
- Maple Leafs are 9-4 in their last 13 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
- Maple Leafs are 38-79 in their last 117 vs. a team with a winning record.
- Maple Leafs are 2-5 in their last 7 games playing on 1 days rest.
- Under is 6-1 in Blue Jackets last 7 games playing on 0 days rest.
- Under is 5-2 in Blue Jackets last 7 overall.
- Under is 5-1-1 in Maple Leafs last 7 games playing on 1 days rest.
- Under is 5-1 in Maple Leafs last 6 home games.
- Over is 5-1-1 in Maple Leafs last 7 vs. Metropolitan.
- Blue Jackets are 7-1 in the last 8 meetings in Toronto.
- Blue Jackets are 5-1 in the last 6 meetings.
- Over is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings.
- Road team is 5-2 in the last 7 meetings.
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