Date/Time: April 26th, 7:00 p.m. ET
Television: Fox Sports Network
Moneyline: Pittsburgh -190
The Stanley Cup Playoffs will continue on Saturday night in NHL betting action when the Pittsburgh Penguins play host to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Fox Sports Network at 7:00 p.m. ET on the ice inside the CONSOL Energy Center. This will be the fifth of a seven game series between these two Eastern Conference foes with the Blue Jackets evening things up at two games apiece.
The Blue Jackets got extremely lucky to win Game 4 on Wednesday as Penguins G Marc-Andre Fleury made a huge mistake with the game on the line leaving his crease to play a puck behind the net and Ryan Johansen took advantage as Fleury misplayed the puck and he found Brandon Dubinsky to tie the game. It didn’t take long for Columbus to end things in overtime with Nick Foligno scoring the game-winner just 2:49 into the extra period. The 4-3 win evened up the series as we head into a pivotal Game 5 in Pittsburgh where Columbus got a split last week. After blowing a 3-1 lead in Game 3 the Blue Jackets faced a 3-1 deficit in Game 4 and scrambled to force overtime as they really showed a lot of character. Now they are in a position where if they are able to get a win on Saturday home ice advantage is theirs for the taking. Columbus played well in Pittsburgh as it took the Pens to the limit in Game 1 before beating them in overtime of Game 2.
The Penguins will have to find a way to recover from a collapse that now finds them fighting with the Blue Jackets for a spot in the second round. Fleury’s mistake cost them a win in Game 4 and he will need to make up for that in a big way on Saturday night. Craig Adams, Chris Kunitz, and James Neal had first period goals for Pittsburgh as it took an early 3-0 lead in Columbus. From there the Penguins had no answer for Blue Jackets G Sergei Bobrovsky who only had to make 22 saves in the game. They were completely absent the rest of the game and allowed the Jackets to send the game into overtime. In Game 5 Pittsburgh will need to get more shots on goal and get some production from the league’s top power play unit. On the defensive side Fleury will have to get past the error he made on Wednesday and play some solid hockey between the pipes on Saturday.
The Penguins have shown that they can score against the Blue Jackets, they just haven’t been able to sustain the pressure for 60 minutes. In Game 5 we expect to see the Pens rebound from a nightmare with their veteran roster that understands the ramifications of a loss in this game. Go with Pittsburgh who is 29-10-4 on its home ice this season and it will be hungry to avenge a horrible loss. Pittsburgh Penguins @ Columbus Blue Jackets Pick: Pittsburgh Penguins
Cole started off as a part time handicapper and a full time computer programmer. After developing a computer program that consistently provided winners in NFL, NBA, MLB, and college sports Cole went into full time handicapping. The computer program and his knack for winners made him a rising star in the handicapping world. His complex computer program based on algorithms and analytical calculations have led to a 60% ATS rate.