33-31-7 (73 points; .514%)
7:00 P.M. – TUESDAY, MARCH 21
CAPITAL ONE ARENA
Bally Sports Ohio
ESPN+ (Out of Market)
|ODDS OF CBJ WIN PER MONEYPUCK: 30%|
|ODDS OF CBJ WIN PER THE 538: 31%|
|CAESAR'S SPORTSBOOK: WSH -250|
The Columbus Blue Jackets conclude a five-game and otherwise western road trip with a swing out east to face Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals.
Both teams find themselves without a postseason to consider. The Capitals have less than a 1% chance to make the playoffs, and the Blue Jackets were mathematically eliminated over the weekend. It will be the first time since the 2006-07 season that neither team has made the postseason, though, a caveat to that: Washington has made it all but one year (2013-14), with Columbus filling in the lone gap.
The Capitals have outscored the Blue Jackets 11-5 in their three games so far, with Washington winning all three. If they complete the four-game season sweep, it will be the first time in the era of the Metro Division that the Blue Jackets will neglect to defeat Washington in an entire season.
Here's what else to know for final meeting of the season between the Caps and the Jackets:
|CAPS: LAST THREE GAMES|
|WED, 3/15||vs. Sabres||SOW, 5-4|
|FRI, 3/17||vs. Blues||L, 5-2|
|SUN, 3/19||@ Wild||L, 5-3|
|CAPS: TEAM LEADERS|
TALKING POINTS: CAPS
It sounds weird to say, but the Capitals just aren't really that great. They're six points out of a playoff spot but again, have less than a 1% chance to make it according to MoneyPuck.
When a team is struggling, goaltending is often the quickest to blame. But the tandem of Darcy Kuemper and Charlie Lindgren hasn't been that bad. The two have a .907 save percentage and 2.81 goals against average. While not amongst the best in the league, there are teams getting into the postseason with worse goaltending numbers.
- Goals have been tough for the Caps to get consistently, though. They have Alex Ovechkin, yes, but they also have an offense that ranks 20th in goals per game. Injuries are certainly a part of that story, with Tom Wilson and Nicklas Backstrom missing significant time this season. The Capitals were also trade deadline sellers for the first time in many years, dealing five players on expiring contracts before the deadline earlier this month.
TALKING POINTS: CBJ
Remember when the Blue Jackets power play was going to go all season without scoring, it seemed? They're now up to 18.6% on the man-advantage. That's tied with last year's mark and any increase in percentage between now and the end of the season will give them their best power play season since 2016-17. If you take October's 0-for-25 start out of the equation, they're converting at a 21.5% clip, which would be second-best in franchise history and within striking distance of the club record of 21.7% set in the 2014-15 season.
The Blue Jackets experimented with Patrik Laine at center in Sunday's 7-2 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights. It was the first time in his NHL career he played the position, and was his idea following a season-ending injury to Sean Kuraly earlier this month. The upside in the stat book? Two assists. The down? He won just three of 17 faceoffs. The upside long-term, though? It could give Laine a more defensive-minded sense of the game, an area he has room for improvement on.
- The key to victory for the Blue Jackets when it comes to playing the Caps? Put four on the board, apparently. Columbus is 7-0-1 in franchise history against Washington when scoring four or more goals. For what it's worth, the Blue Jackets have 4+ goals in five of their last eleven games.
PROJECTED CBJ LINES
Updated: 7:05 a.m. // Subject to Change
|13||Johnny Gaudreau||29||Patrik Laine||86||Kirill Marchenko|
|91||Kent Johnson||28||Boone Jenner||96||Jack Roslovic|
|19||Liam Foudy||34||Cole Sillinger||52||Emil Bemstrom|
|50||Eric Robinson||18||Lane Pederson||24||Mathieu Olivier|
|77||Nick Blankenburg||44||Eric Gudbranson|
|75||Tim Berni||2||Andrew Peeke|
|15||Gavin Bayreuther||27||Adam Boqvist|
|40||Daniil Tarasov||31||Michael Hutchinson|