Columbus Blue Jackets vs. New York Rangers 2/28/24

Columbus Blue Jackets vs. New York Rangers 2/28/24 NHL Latest Analysis, Tips, and Forecast

Columbus Blue Jackets (18-28-10) vs. New York Rangers (39-16-3)


Columbus Blue Jackets vs. New York Rangers 2/28/24 – The struggling Columbus Blue Jackets will visit the surging New York Rangers on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden. This Metropolitan Division matchup features two teams headed in opposite directions as we approach the final stretch of the NHL regular season. The Blue Jackets have lost four straight games and sit in last place in the division. Meanwhile, the Rangers have won five of their last six contests and are second in the Metro. With New York fighting for playoff seeding and Columbus looking to play spoiler, this should be an intense battle. NHL tips and picks seem favorable to the red-hot Rangers on home ice.


The Blue Jackets’ offense has struggled during their recent four-game losing streak, scoring just eight total goals during that time. Winger Johnny Gaudreau has produced just one assist over his last three games despite leading Columbus with 40 points this season; Boone Jenner meanwhile has yet to score since five matches ago (he leads them with 19 goals!). To bring their offense back on track Gaudreau and Jenner will need to shake out of their slumps; though doing so won’t be easy against the New York Rangers’ defense which gives up just 2.8 goals per game while holding opponents to two or less goals four of five times!


On the other side, the Rangers’ dynamic offense is excelling right now, scoring 24 goals over their past six games. Winger Artemi Panarin is playing at an MVP level with an NHL-best 78 points, including a remarkable nine points during New York’s recent hot streak. Center Mika Zibanejad is also scorching hot, riding a seven-game point streak with five goals and seven helpers during that time. Panarin and Zibanejad lead a deep group of Rangers forwards that have dominated opponents lately. That doesn’t bode well for the Blue Jackets’ porous defense, which ranks 27th in the league allowing 3.7 goals per game this season.


Columbus Blue Jackets vs. New York Rangers 2/28/24 Game Info


When: Wednesday, February 28, 2024 at 7:00 PM ET
Where: Madison Square Garden
Stream: NHL.TV


Goaltender Elvis Merzlikins vs. Goaltender Igor Shesterkin


Elvis Merzlikins has been one of the lone bright spots in an otherwise dreadful season for Columbus. The 28-year-old netminder has a respectable .920 save percentage despite facing over 35 shots per start on average. He’s given the Jackets a chance to win every night and will need to stand on his head again versus New York’s dynamic scorers. 


Igor Shesterkin, meanwhile, has been sensational all season for the Rangers. The Vezina frontrunner ranks first in both save percentage (.935) and goals against average (2.01) among qualified starters. Shesterkin has allowed two or fewer goals in four straight starts, backstopping New York’s win streak. He should dominate a mediocre Columbus attack.


NHL Odds/Point Spread: TBD, Total Odds: TBD


As betting odds for the game are yet to be determined, bettors should keep a close eye on updates. The Rangers, given their superior record and home advantage, are likely to be favored. However, the unpredictability of NHL games provides opportunities for value bets, especially considering the Blue Jackets’ potential for upsets.


Columbus Blue Jackets Betting Trends


The Blue Jackets have been an inconsistent team lately, going 3-2 straight up and against the spread over their last five contests. Columbus has performed well on the road against the spread overall this season at 18-10. However, their offense has struggled recently, with the totals going OVER in just 3 of their past five games. For the season, 13 of the Blue Jackets’ 28 away matchups have gone OVER the posted total.


New York Rangers Betting Trends


The Rangers have found their groove, winning four of their last five games straight up. They are 3-2 against the spread over that stretch. At home this season, New York has been less dominant with a 16-14 record versus the number at Madison Square Garden. Like Columbus, the totals have gone OVER in three of the Rangers’ previous five matchups. For the season, 13 of New York’s 27 home tilts have exceeded the posted total.


Columbus Blue Jackets vs. New York Rangers 2/28/24 Betting Picks


Considering the analysis and betting trends, the Rangers are positioned as the stronger team, both offensively and defensively. Their depth, combined with Shesterkin’s goaltending, gives them a clear advantage. However, the Blue Jackets’ capability to surprise should not be underestimated, particularly with players like Gaudreau capable of making impactful plays.


For bettors looking for daily sports premium picks, focusing on the Rangers to win could be a safe bet, but there is also value in exploring over/under bets, given both teams’ recent trends in scoring. Prop bets involving individual player performances, such as Panarin’s points or Merzlikins’ saves, might also offer exciting opportunities.


Free Pick and Prediction: New York Rangers 4, Columbus Blue Jackets 2


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