NHL Betting: Columbus can capitalise on Washington's leaky defence


Columbus-Washington

Columbus are having a really good spell right now, only losing to high powered St Louis since the start of the year, and would seem to be solid backing to avenge a pair of defeats away at Washington earlier in the season.

A victory tonight would close the gap between the Jackets and their Metro Division rivals to two points having been over 10 not too long ago, and the Capitals might be taking a few overtime loss points but they've only won three of their previous twelve matches.

Catalysing Columbus' upturn was the return of goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, however the steady improvement of their offence is perhaps more significant. Their good depth at center through Ryan Johansen, Brandon Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov gives them diverse lines all capable of scoring, as well as knowledge to coach Todd Richards that each unit won't be passengers defensively.

Washington are an attack-minded team that always gives up chances when out on the road, so the Jackets' better two-way game should come into play. Jump on Columbus to add a fifth straight win.

Chicago-Anaheim

Oh boy could this matchup be a spectacular one as the NHL's top two clubs collide in surprisingly different circumstances.

For an eighth consecutive victory, Anaheim destroyed Vancouver 9-1 (9-1!) on Wednesday, scoring six power play goals and adding three in the final ten minutes to show just how ruthless they are at the moment.

Contrastingly the ability to close out contests has deserted the Blackhawks all of a sudden, as no regulation loss yet only two wins in seven games has been enough to keep them at the front of the chasing pack.

Patrick Kane's production has eased up to three points in 2014, and although I have to stress relatively speaking the team as a whole seems to follow, getting over two goals is something they've managed just once in the last five home games.

Only Minnesota have managed to win at United Center by more than one goal in 26 Blackhawks home games, but Anaheim are playing that well that taking the handicap would still net you 4.20.

I'll take them in OT though for 2.15 as it would be typical of Chicago to produce a competitive response.

Best Bet: Columbus Blue Jackets to win at 2.25