Florida Panthers at Columbus Blue Jackets (-160, 5)
Not that it’s overly shocking or anything, but the Columbus Blue Jackets are probably going to miss the playoffs again this year after showing a little bit of fight earlier in the year.
What is surprising is just how bad the club’s power play is. Columbus hasn’t scored in its last 30 chances with the man advantage, a slump that stretches over nine games. The Jackets have won just twice over that spell and have scored one or fewer goals in four of their last six games.
Captain Rick Nash remains the team’s only consistent offensive threat, leading the team with 66 points.
They actually battled pretty well in a 4-1 loss to Vancouver on Sunday, the club’s sixth straight defeat, but at this point of the year, production is all that matters.
"We did everything possible to generate offense,” coach Scott Arniel told reporters. “We're not scoring enough, and it's in our heads, and it's been going on for a few games now. The same pucks aren't going in like they were earlier in the season."
That’s true, but everything goes in against Florida. We’ll take a shot with Arniel’s bunch.
Pick: Blue Jackets
Dallas Stars at Phoenix Coyotes (-145, 5)
You have to hand it to the Stars – nobody even expected them to be anywhere near a playoff spot at the beginning of the season – but as the campaign has worn on, their lack of depth is catching up with them.
Dallas has just one win in its last six games and now sits in 10th spot in the Western Conference. The team has a tough road ahead too, with six of its last eight games on the road after dropping a 4-2 decision at Nashville over the weekend.
“The battle level of the group, the care, it's there,” Brad Richards told reporters. “But sometimes the execution … overtrying, whatever it is … we still know that this is a huge road trip, a huge part of the season, and we'll keep battling."
The Stars have a shot at getting back on the right track against Phoenix, which could be missing three centers for this matchup, but it’s probably better to just jump on the under.
Bet on all the NHL action at Sports Interaction. Sign up and get a 100 percent instant cash bonus.