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Columbus Blue Jackets vs Florida Panthers Pick & Prediction, Sat Jan 15 06:00 PM

NHL | HOCKEY
TV: BSFL | BSOHIO
Logo Columbus Blue Jackets
VS
Logo Florida Panthers
6.5
OPENNER
-1.5

6o -130
CURRENT
-1.5 -125

+260
MONEYLINE
-290

2
SCORE
9

The Florida Panthers and Columbus Blue Jackets, who are set to meet on Saturday night in Sunrise, Fla., are both coming off blowout wins.

Florida, which has the best home record in the NHL at 20-3-0, routed the visiting Dallas Stars 7-1 on Friday night.

Columbus routed the Carolina Hurricanes 6-0 on Thursday night in Raleigh, N.C.

The Panthers' line of Sam Bennett, Jonathan Huberdeau and Anthony Duclair dominated the Stars. Bennett had three goals and one assist and was a plus-5. Huberdeau had one goal and three assists and was also a plus-5. Duclair had one goal and two assists and was an amazing plus-6.

"We're a confident group," Duclair said. "We have a ton of skill, tons of depth. It's fun playing at home, and we want to keep things rolling here."

Bennett, who has two hat tricks this season, has been a perfect fit since the Panthers acquired him from the Calgary Flames last season.

"Anytime you can generate personal success and help the team win, it's a great feeling," Bennett said. "I'm enjoying my time in South Florida."

Columbus enjoyed itself Thursday, with 12 players getting on the scoresheet.

"For our team to play winning hockey, we're going to need everybody," Blue Jackets coach Brad Larsen said.

Leading the way for Columbus is defenseman Zach Werenski, 24, who was named an NHL All-Star on Friday. He ranks fourth on the Blue Jackets with 21 points.

Oliver Bjorkstrand leads Columbus with 26 points, and Boone Jenner tops the team with 14 goals. But Jakub Voracek, who is No. 1 on the Blue Jackets with 24 assists, entered COVID protocol this week and will be unavailable to face the Panthers.

Yegor Chinakhov, Columbus' first-round pick in 2020, has just seven points in 26 games this season. However, he is on a roll lately with three goals in his past three games.

"It's a great feeling to score goals," Chinakhov said. "Of course, it gives me confidence."

Columbus' top goalie is Elvis Merzlikins, who is 13-8-1 with a 3.04 goals-against average and a .911 save percentage.

Since the Panthers will be playing on consecutive nights, it is possible they will rest starting netminder Sergei Bobrovsky (18-3-3), who played on Friday and is ranked among the top six goalies in wins this season.

Rookie Spencer Knight (7-4-2) is the Florida backup, and he has struggled at times, posting a 3.39 GAA and an .896 save percentage. He hasn't played since defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning 9-3 on Dec. 30.

Either way, the Panthers have a potent offense, especially at home. In 23 home games this season, the Panthers have scored at least four goals 19 times.

Huberdeau, named an NHL All-Star this week for the second time in his career, leads Florida's offense with 51 points.

"I just have to get open, and he will get me the puck," Duclair said of Huberdeau. "It's an honor to play with him. It's so fun."

The Panthers are on a eight-game points streak, going 7-0-1 during that span.

Florida has not played Columbus yet this season, but the Panthers have beaten the Blue Jackets six straight times. The Panthers finished 7-0-1 against the Blue Jackets last season.

--Field Level Media

PREDICTION
Columbus Blue Jackets
2
5
Florida Panthers

Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Florida Panthers Recap APR 20TH 2021

Sam Bennett scored twice and goalie Spencer Knight won his NHL debut as the Florida Panthers beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-1 on Tuesday in Sunrise, Fla.

Knight, selected by the Panthers with the 13th overall pick of the 2019 draft, made 33 saves and was named first star of the game. The 20-year-old Connecticut native signed his entry-level contract late last month after two seasons at Boston College.

Jonathan Huberdeau had a goal and two assists for the Panthers, who also got goals from Aleksander Barkov and Ryan Lomberg. Anthony Duclair notched three assists.

Jack Roslovic collected Columbus' only goal, and Joonas Korpisalo stopped 28 shots.

Florida finished 7-0-1 against Columbus this season after sweeping two meetings the past two nights. The Panthers are 4-0-1 overall in their past five games. The Blue Jackets are winless in its past seven (0-6-1) and are 2-12-2 in their past 16.

The Panthers took the lead in the first period by scoring twice within a span of 14 seconds.

Barkov got Florida's first goal by scoring off a pass from Nikita Gusev at 6:52.

At 7:06, Bennett knocked a puck out of the air and past goalie Korpisalo off a shot by Anthony Duclair to make it 2-0.

Columbus came back later in the period, cutting its deficit in half thanks to a power-play goal from Jack Roslovic at 16:16.

With 56 seconds remaining in the first, Roslovic appeared to tie the score off a breakaway pass from Patrik Laine, but Florida's video challenge for offside was successful, and the goal was waved off.

The Panthers pulled away in the second, scoring three goals to take a 5-1 lead into the third.

Bennett got it going by scoring off a rebound at 7:04. It was his third goal in two nights against Columbus and fifth point since joining the Panthers three games ago.

At 15:42 of the second, Lomberg batted down a shot from Frank Vatrano and put it past Korpisalo to make it 4-1.

Huberdeau finished off the second-period scoring spree less than a minute later off an assist from Duclair.

The Panthers will play host to the Carolina Hurricanes, one of the teams they are battling for the top spot in the Central Division, on Thursday and Saturday. The Blue Jackets travel for a pair at Tampa Bay on Thursday and Sunday.

--Field Level Media

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