Columbus Blue Jackets (43-32-7) at Pittsburgh Penguins (51-24-7)
|Date & Time||Saturday April 26, 2014, 7:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Pittsburgh Penguins -190 / Columbus Blue Jackets +172 --- Over/Under: 5.5
The Penguins look to reclaim the series lead against the Blue Jackets after dropping a game four heartbreaker in Columbus.
The Columbus Blue Jackets continue to defy the odds as they have badly outplayed the Pittsburgh Penguins over the last couple of games and now have a shot at setting up a potential series clinching game six at home. The Jackets were expected to be competitive this season but not too many could have predicted their resilience and fire power against one of the best teams in the league despite the Pens hitting a tailspin right before the playoffs started. Nick Foligno sniped home the overtime winner on Thursday night in what was a poor effort on the part of Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury who continues to cement his position as a playoff underperformer. The Jackets have been a tough out all season long and while they face a tough task playing against an offensively gifted Penguins roster at the Consol Energy Center which is a very tough place to play but they’ll have to win one more time in Pittsburgh if they want to advance.
The Penguins have been very tough to watch of late as they possess a roster that other teams and fan bases would kill to have but they can’t seem to find a way to succeed in the playoffs. The Pens won the Stanley Cup back in 2009 but have been invisible ever since and even Penguins fans are starting to jump off the wagon and appreciate the story that is the Columbus Blue Jackets. Pittsburgh has a ton of talent led by Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin but they haven’t been able to generate success thanks to Columbus’ game strategy and if those guys can’t produce than this becomes a much easier team to play against, especially if the goaltending is subpar. However, I don’t see this as a good spot at all for the Blue Jackets as the Pens are lethal at home and while they haven’t been playing very well of late they are still in the driver’s seat in this series and control home ice. I look for Pittsburgh to make a statement here before heading back to Columbus for game six.