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Pittsburgh Penguins v Columbus Blue Jackets playoff betting preview April 27, 2014-

Posted by Ari Louis on 4/28/2014 5:38:07 AM

Game 6: NHL Eastern Conference Playoff Betting Preview: Pittsburgh Penguins (-138) v Columbus Blue Jackets (+125)

The Pittsburgh Penguins are +1.5 going against the Columbus Blue Jackets -1.5 in Game 6. When the playoffs began, the Columbus Blue Jackets were one of the longshots to win the East at (+5,000). Nevertheless, the Blue Jackets will have a chance to send their 1st round series to a Game 7. All they have to do is get the Game 6 win in front of their home fans.

Game 1 Breakdown: Blue Jackets 3 Penguins 4
Brandon Sutter scored with 12 minutes left in the 3rd period to give Pittsburgh the go ahead score. Pittsburgh's 5th ranked defense was able to hold Columbus scoreless for the last 12 minutes.
Game 1 was the night of the power play, as three of the seven goals scored were power play goals. Pittsburgh had two of the three power play goals. The power play was one of Pittsburgh's main strengths in the regular season.
Columbus was not able to score when it counted. Columbus did not score during the final 38 minutes of Game 1. Derek Mackenzie's scored a short-handed goal two minutes into the 2nd period. After that it was lights out for the Blue Jackets.

Game 2 Breakdown: Blue Jackets 4 Penguins 3 (2 OT)
Jack Johnson scored a power play goal with a few minutes left in regulation to tie the game up for Columbus. The power play was caused when Kris Letang got a two-minute penalty for interference.
In the 2nd overtime, Matt Calvert scored to tie up the series. It was Calvert's 2nd goal of the game, as he scored a short-handed goal in the 2nd period.
Although Pittsburgh lost, they were still able to count on their power play. In the 1st period Matt Niskanen scored with the one man advantage. Brian Gibbons scored two goals for Pittsburgh in the loss.

Game 3 Breakdown: Penguins 4 Blue Jackets 3
Game 3 turned the series to Columbus. Game 3 was eerily similar to Game 1, as Columbus disappeared down the stretch. In Game 1, Columbus did not score for the final 38 minutes of the game.
In Game 2, the Blue Jackets did not score for the last 19 minutes. When Cam Atkinson scored a minute into the third period he gave the Blue Jackets a gigantic 3 to 1 lead. It would be the last time Columbus would score in Game 3.
Pittsburgh then scored three unanswered goals. Brandon Sutter scored his 2nd goal of the series, followed by Lee Stempniak scoring and then Jussi Jokinen's scoring the go-ahead goal. Pittsburgh's defense again showed itself to be strong down the stretch.

Game 4 Breakdown: Penguins 3 Blue Jackets 4 (OT)
It looked as though Pittsburgh had the advantage going into Game 4. They had played a great defense in the 3rd period of Game 3, holding on for the win and taking a 2 games to 1 series lead.
With 24 seconds left, it looks as though the Penguins were going to go up 3 games to 1. Then, Brandon Dubinsky scored his first goal of the playoffs at 19:36 of the 3rd period to tie the game.
In overtime, Nick Foligno scored for Columbus to tie the series.
Pittsburgh's defense really let the team down, as they gave up an early 3-0 lead. The Penguins scored all game 4 goals in the 1st period. Despite giving up a 3-0 lead, Marc-Andrew Fleury played well behind the net for Pittsburgh. He stopped 42 out of 46 shots on net.

Game 5 Breakdown: Blue Jackets 1 Penguins 3
Game 5 was much more of a conventional Pittsburgh win. Pittsburgh's 5th ranked defense only allowed a 1st period goal to Boone Jenner. This was Jenner's 3rd goal of the series and it was scored on the power play.
Pittsburgh then scored in the 2nd period, via Chris Kunitz's power play goal. Pittsburgh was 1st in the power play in the regular season. Jussi Jokinen then scored his 3rd goal of the series at 6:16 of the 3rd period.
Columbus then pulled their goalie Sergei Bobrovsky at the end of the game to try to tie things up. It was of no use, as Kris Letang scored the empty netter. Despite getting the loss, Bobrovsky was fantastic. He stopped 48 of 50 shots on net.

What happens in Game 6?:
The Blue Jackets have two wins in this series and they are both overtime wins. This says the Blue Jackets are clutch, or they are very lucky. In four of the five games of this series, the defense has squandered a large goal lead.
ESPN's Barry Melrose says a two goal lead is the worst thing that can happen to a hockey team. He says having such a lead causes a team to let their guard down. In this series, Melrose has been proven right. As great as Columbus has played in this series, Pittsburgh is the better team.
They are playing for a Stanley Cup and seemed to finally have figured out the right formula in Game 5. In Game 5 they played great defense, scored via the power play and scored in the 3rd period when it counted. Although Game 6 is in Columbus, look for Pittsburgh to finish this great 1st round series.


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