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Washington Capitals vs Columbus Blue Jackets: Capitals Look for Fourth Straight Win Against the Blue Jackets

Written by: Max Heering
Updated January 31, 2023
12 min read
  • The Washington Capitals have lost three of their last four games.

  • The Columbus Blue Jackets have lost six of their last eight games.

  • The Capitals are 2-0-0 against the Blue Jackets this season.

Washington Capitals vs Columbus Blue Jackets Odds

Odds Taken from FanDuel Sportsbook.

Team

Spread

Total

Washington Capitals

-1.5

BET HERE

O 6.5

BET HERE

Columbus Blue Jackets

+1.5

BET HERE

U 6.5

BET HERE

Washington Capitals vs Columbus Blue Jackets Predictions and Picks

Washington Blue Jackets beat Columbus Blue Jackets 5-3 

Washington Capitals cover 

Over 6.5 goals

Capitals vs Blue Jackets Predictions

Head-to-Head: Washington Capitals vs Columbus Blue Jackets

Washington Capitals

Head-to-Head

Columbus Blue Jackets

Jon Cooper

Head Coach

Brad Larsen

26-20-6 (4th in Metropolitan Division)

Standing

15-32-3 (8th in Metropolitan Division)


Leaders 


Alex Ovechkin (54)

Points

Johnny Gaudreau (48)

Alex Ovechkin (32)

Goals

Patrik Laine (14)

Evgeny Kuznetsov (35)

Assists

Johnny Gaudreau (35)

Nic Dowd (9)

+/-

Kirill Machenko (-3)

Alex Ovechkin (4.33)

Shots (Per Game)

Patrik Laine (3.54)

Washington Capitals vs Columbus Blue Jackets Predictions and Picks

The Washington Capitals will battle with the Columbus Blue Jackets for the third time this season. Washington crushed the Capitals 6-2 in their first matchup and squeaked past them with a 1-0 win the second time they met.

The Capitals are in the first Wild Card spot with 58 points. However, they could fall out of the Playoff race by next week if they do not rack together a few wins. On the other side, the Blue Jackets are the NHL’s worst team, with 33 points. They could finish the season a few spots higher than that but might not want to. If Columbus finishes the season with the worst record, they will have the best odds of receiving the first overall pick in this year’s Draft.

The Capitals may have Alex Ovechkin, but their offense is average. They average a little over three goals a game but only scored one in their previous game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Defensively, they are significantly better and allow less than 2.9 goals per game. However, their defense is sometimes bailed out by goaltenders Darcy Kuemper and Charlie Lindgren.

The Capitals are led by Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Dylan Strome. Ovechkin is the star of this group and has a team-leading 32 goals, but Kuznetsov and Strome are also huge contributors to this Washington team.

Darcy Kuemper and Charlie Lindgren make up the Capitals’ goaltending duo. Kuemper is the starter, but Lindgren is performing at almost the same level. Neither netminder is excellent, but they are both solid and can hold their own.

The Blue Jackets cannot do much right. They struggle to score and barely average 2.5 goals per game. On the other side of the puck, they are just as bad. Columbus allows 3.84 goals per game, the third-most in the NHL.

The Blue Jackets receive much of their offense from Johnny Gaudreau, Patrik Laine, and Boone Jenner. Gaudreau is by far the best player in this group, but Laine and Jenner can also score a little (both players have 14 goals).

Joonas Korpisalo and Elvis Merzlikins are the Blue Jackets’ two goaltenders. Korpisalo is the better of the two, but neither plays well. I would not be surprised if these two are fighting for spots on an NHL roster next year.

The Capitals are playing significantly better hockey and have a much better offense, so I expect them to win this game handily. Bet on Washington.

Why Might the Washington Capitals Win?

The Capitals will win if they shoot 35+ times and slow down Johnny Gaudreau.

The Capitals have a mediocre offense and shoot nearly 32 times a game. Their scoring is not directly correlated to their shot output, but it is partially correlated. Washington must increase their shot output by a few shots and shoot at least 35 times this game. If they do, they may end up with one more goal than expected.

Johnny Gaudreau is the most efficient member of the Blue Jackets. The 29-year-old has been the lone star on the Blue Jackets and leads the team in assists (35) and points (48). The Capitals have to take Gaudreau out of the picture. If they do, the Blue Jackets' offense will be stifled and struggle to score.

Why Might the Columbus Blue Jackets Win?

The Blue Jacks will give themselves a chance to win if they avoid committing penalties and slow down Alex Ovechkin.

The Blue Jackets have one of the worst power-play units in the NHL and convert less than 17% of their opportunities. However, they will be facing a Capitals team with a slightly stronger power play unit that converts 20.6% of their opportunities. Columbus has to avoid committing penalties and keep Washington’s power play unit off the ice as much as possible.

Alex Ovechkin may be 37 years old, but he leads the Capitals' offense in goals (32) and points (54). The Washington offense is largely run around Ovechkin, so the Blue Jackets must make him a priority #1 and slow him down. 

Capitals Key Players: (LW) Conor Sheary 

Conor Sheary is having a quieter season but has scoring potential. The wingers plays a little over 16 minutes a game and has 12 goals and 18 assists. His numbers are not excellent, but they are productive. Sheary has become the second (or sometimes third) option on the Capitals. He needs to be ready to perform and take advantage of his scoring opportunities.

Blue Jackets Key Player: (LW) Johnny Gaudreau

This is the obvious choice. Johnny Gaudreau is one of the few shining pieces on this struggling Blue Jackets team. The man affectionately known as “Johnny Hockey” has 13 goals and 35 assists this season. However, he has not scored a goal in over a week. Gaudreau must return to form tonight and put one in the back of the net.

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How to Watch Washington Capitals vs Columbus Blue Jackets

  • What: Washington Capitals vs Columbus Blue Jackets

  • Where: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, OH

  • When: Tuesday, January 31, 7:00 PM EST

  • How to Watch: NHLPP, ESPN+

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AUTHOR

Max Heering

429 Articles

Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court.

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