NHL Playoffs Pick: Pittsburgh Penguins vs Columbus Blue Jackets
- Updated: April 23, 2014
Date/Time: April 21st, 7:00 p.m. ET
Television: NBC Sports Network
NHL Betting Odds from BetOnline Sportsbook
Moneyline: Penguins -140
The Stanley Cup Playoffs will continue on Wednesday night in NHL betting action when the Columbus Blue Jackets play host to the Pittsburgh Penguins on NBC Sports Network at 7:00 p.m. ET on the ice inside Nationwide Arena. This will be the fourth of a seven game series between these two Eastern Conference foes with the Penguins leading 2-1 headed into this pivotal game.
The Penguins were faced with a 3-1 deficit as just 18:56 remained in Game 3 and they saw their hopes dwindling in front of a raucous crowd that was enjoying their franchise’s first ever home playoff game. They were looking like a footnote to an otherwise orchestrated coming out party, but then everything changed in an instant. First Brandon Sutter scored, next Lee Stempniak tied the game a minute later, and then Olli Maatta produced the eventual game winning goal as Pittsburgh pulled out a 4-3 win. The pattern of this series is becoming obvious as the first three games have all gone over the ‘total’ with identical final scores. A win like this one could have shifted the balance of the series directly in the Pens favor as they have seized home ice advantage back from the Blue Jackets. Even with Marc-Andre Fleury struggling to stop the puck on a consistent basis they have still managed to take the lead in this series and if he gets his game going they could put a stranglehold on it Wednesday night.
The Blue Jackets got off to a fast start jumping out to a two goal lead after the first period of play. Everything was going their way until in a very Cleveland Browns type of way they completely collapsed and suddenly nothing was going right. As we predicted everything correctly in this game Columbus did cover the puck-line for the third straight game as ‘underdogs’ and we expect that to continue throughout this series. The home team will need to find a way back onto the right side of a one-goal deficit this time as going down 3-1 to this Penguins squad is absolutely not an option if it wants to advance in the playoffs. One thing the Blue Jackets continue to do well is shut down the league’s top power play unit and that could be huge for their chances in Game 4. We were very close to a different series, but with Monday’s lead blown Columbus must now get itself up off the mat and try to get a different result on Wednesday to redeem itself.
The Blue Jackets will have to show their resolve in this game to tie the series back up before heading to Pittsburgh for Game 5 on Saturday. We expect to see this gritty group from Columbus come out with a renewed sense of confidence and find its way back into the win column with a hard fought close victory over Pittsburgh. We have nailed the first three games of this series thus far and our pick for this game calls for some payback by the home squad. Columbus Blue Jackets @ Pittsburgh Penguins Pick: Columbus Blue Jackets