Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Dallas Stars February 18 Betting Preview
The Columbus Blue Jackets will take to the ice on Saturday night against the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center.
This is a matchup between the top team in the Western Conference and the worst team in the Eastern Conference, but the circumstances surrounding this game could level the playing field. With the Stars playing for the second straight night, the door could be open for the Jackets to pull off a second straight upset.
Columbus Blue Jackets
In their last outing, the Columbus Blue Jackets scored an impressive victory at home over the Winnipeg Jets. They defeated the Jets 3-1, coming back from a 1-0 first-period deficit to do the remainder of the scoring in that contest.
Here, the Jackets will look for a second straight win over a playoff-caliber team and will look to take advantage of the Stars playing on the second leg of a back-to-back.
For Columbus to pick up that second win in a row, they will need another strong performance in goal. Joonas Korpisalo delivered a gem in Columbus on Thursday against the Jets, saving 37 of the 38 shots he faced in the win.
While the Blue Jackets have had issues defending most of this year, good work in goal can offset some of the defensive concerns in Columbus to spark another victory.
The Dallas Stars are coming off a shootout loss to the Minnesota Wild on Friday night, which could cause real problems for them coming into Saturday night. Playing back-to-back in a league as demanding as the NHL is tough enough, but having to do so after playing an overtime game and a shootout is even more difficult, and we could see some tired legs factor into the equation here.
Making matters worse is that the Western Conference leaders had to travel from Minnesota to Dallas for this game. That is a lot to ask from a team overnight before a game, even if that game is against the team with the fewest points in the NHL. While this may not decide the game, it will undoubtedly be a factor on the ice.
Keys To The Game
The number one key to this game for the Blue Jackets will be their level of aggression from start to finish. Having a rest advantage over the Stars, the Blue Jackets need to put pressure on Dallas at all times to force them to exert themselves more than they may be capable.
If Columbus can do that, they can force sloppy play and take advantage with a win on the road.
For Dallas, the key to this game is to remain disciplined. It can be tempting to take up bad habits when fatigue sets in, but the Stars cannot afford to do that against the Jackets. Doing so would result in an accumulation of penalty minutes, which could open the doors for the Blue Jackets to steal this one.
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