The Stanley Cup Playoffs will continue on Monday night in NHL betting action when the Columbus Blue Jackets play host to the Pittsburgh Penguins on CBC at 7:00 p.m. ET on the ice inside Nationwide Arena. This will be the sixth of a seven game series between these two Eastern Conference foes with the Penguins leading 3-2 with the chance to advance to the second round if they can win this contest.
The Penguins nabbed a 3-1 win on their home ice in Game 5 to setup this possible closeout contest on the road. Saturday’s game showed just how close this series really has been with both teams fighting for every inch. Pittsburgh trailed 1-0 in the second period when Chris Kunitz struck with a power play goal assisted by Sidney Crosby and Matt Niskanen to tie things up. In the third period Jussi Jokinen scored to give his team a 2-1 lead and the scoring was wrapped up with an empty netter from Kris Letang in the final minute. The Pens finally got the big game they had been waiting for from G Marc-Andre Fleury who saw 24 shots in this game and saved 23 of them for his third win of the playoffs. Brooks Orpik has an undisclosed injury and Brian Gibbons has a shoulder injury, both are questionable to return for Game 6. Pittsburgh once again got its top ranked power play unit going on Saturday, if it can do that again on Monday it could be headed for the next round.
The Blue Jackets did absolutely everything they could to stay in this game with a valiant effort against this Penguins squad that overmatches them with experience and talent. Columbus showed its heart in Game 5 surviving blow after blow from a powerful Pittsburgh offense that was determined to get a win on its home ice. Jackets G Sergei Bobrovsky was outstanding as he was peppered with 50 shots on his net and stopped 48 of them. Bobrovsky has done a great job holding down his end of the deal in this series and will be called upon once again to have a standout performance in Game 6. Boone Jenner got Columbus off to a fast start on Saturday as it took a 1-0 lead on his goal from David Savard and Ryan Johansen. However, the Blue Jackets offense couldn’t get anything else going the rest of the game and will have to lick their wounds for a quick rebound on Monday. This will be a game where we will see exactly how ready this young team is for the big time as forcing a Game 7 would certainly prove their worth. The Blue Jackets are not quite done yet and we expect to see them give everything they’ve got in this battle royal that could go well into Tuesday morning with some overtime hockey. Columbus split two games with Pittsburgh earlier in this series at home and we think it can get the job done to force a Game 7. Look for another masterful outing from Bobrovsky and this gritty group of Blue Jackets to survive and setup a do-or-die on Wednesday. Pittsburgh Penguins @ Columbus Blue Jackets Pick: Columbus Blue Jackets