Pittsburgh Penguins (51-24-7) at Columbus Blue Jackets (43-32-7)
|Date & Time||Wednesday April 23, 2014, 7:00 PM (EDT)|
|Location||Unknown Location Unknown Address|
The Line: Columbus Blue Jackets +116 / Pittsburgh Penguins -128 --- Over/Under: 5.5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+. Start your 7-day FREE trial today!|
The Blue Jackets look to even the series before heading back to Pittsburgh for game five as they host the Pens at Nationwide Arena.
The Pittsburgh Penguins found themselves down and out heading into the third period of Monday’s game three encounter in Columbus but as with any good team you can never rule them out especially if they have as potent an offense as the Pens do. Pittsburgh rallied off three straight goals in a two minute span to gran the lead then held strong for a pivotal victory after looking as though they were going to drop their second game in as many tried against a very pesky Columbus team. Much of the attention heading into these playoffs for the Penguins was whether Marc-Andre Fleury would answer the bell and silence his critics after back to back postseasons in which he was less than stellar and while he has looked very shaky at times through the first three games, his team has two wins in those contests. Fleury and the Penguins can take a commanding 3-1 lead back to Pittsburgh win a win here and with the way they have played so far this season at Nationwide Arena there isn’t a lot to refute that from happening.
The Blue Jackets stormed out of the gates in game three and looked in total command after 40 minutes in game three but they fell asleep in the final frame and threw away a potentially season shaping victory. Sergei Bobrovsky has been very strong this season and has transferred some of that success over into the playoffs but he will need to step it up a notch if the Jackets are going to even up this series and head back to Pittsburgh on even terms. This series was predicted by some to be a lot closer than the opening lines indicated and while it still has the feel of going the distance the talent disparity to me is still astronomical as the Penguins are by far the better team and it should be a cake walk for them even on the road. While Columbus has looked strong and they could very well even things up here and they’re getting plus money I can’t pass up the opportunity of getting the Penguins at this price especially with the likes of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin looking to break out.