Columbus Blue Jackets (51-26-9) at Pittsburgh Penguins (53-22-11)
|Date & Time||Thursday April 20, 2017, 7:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Pittsburgh Penguins -205 / Columbus Blue Jackets +184 --- Over/Under: 5.5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
The Pittsburgh Penguins look to wrap up their first round series with the Columbus Blue Jackets when the two sides meet up in Pittsburgh on Thursday night.
The Blue Jackets staved off elimination and avoided the sweep with a win at home in game four but now continue their uphill battle as they head into Pittsburgh on Thursday night looking for another victory in enemy territory. The Jackets had one of the most impressive seasons of any team in the NHL this year as many expected they would fall well short of the playoffs but instead they exceeded those expectations and were among the league’s best teams for most of the year but I think their flaws are shining through here against the defending champs as they don’t have the legs to go shift for shift with the Pens. Columbus does have some very nice pieces and are led by Vezina contender Sergei Bobrovsky and while they could very well extend this series for another game or two they are in tough here as Pittsburgh is a very tough place to play, especially with a chance to advance to the next round on the line.
The Penguins meanwhile raced out to a commanding 3-0 series lead and looked poised to pull off the sweep as they had a number of chances to get the victory in game four but in the end the Jackets had enough to extend things and send it back to game five in Pittsburgh on Thursday. The Pens are looking as dangerous as ever and have so much depth in the offensive zone and it seems like someone else is stepping up with each passing game and if they can continue that production from guys out of their bottom six forwards they are going to be very tough to slow down across a seven game series.
The Jackets are 2-9 in their last 11 overall and 1-7 in their last eight against the Metro while the Pens are 7-3 in their last 10 overall and 16-5 in their last 21 after allowing five goals or more in their previous outing. Columbus has had a nice season but their magical run comes to an end on the road tonight as the Pens take care of business on home ice and advance to the Eastern Conference semi finals.