Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Game 4 Preview
Where: Nationwide Arena, Columbus
When: Tuesday, April 18, 2017, 7:30 PM ET
TV Broadcast: CNBC
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Betting on the Pittsburgh Penguins (–1.5)
Jake Guentzel is playing like he really wants a statue of him in Pittsburgh. The center posted a hat trick in Game 3 of the series, including the overtime goal that gave the Pens a 5-4 win Sunday night. Guentzel now has four goals this postseason and he’ll look to add more this Tuesday, when the Penguins try to end the series.
Pittsburgh’s firepower has simply been too much for the Blue Jackets, who’ve been outscored this series, 12-6. Columbus is being bewildered by Pittsburgh’s offense that is flush with lethal scorers. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, when not scoring, are feeding their linemates with tasty assists. The duo has nine assists together on the series.
That kind of offense saved the game for Pittsburgh, which didn’t get as stellar a performance from Marc-Andre Fleury in Game 3, when he allowed four goals on 47 shots faced. Fleury could be forgiven a bit, considering he’s yielded just two goals with a .972 SV% in the first two games of the first round.
Betting on the Columbus Blue Jackets (+1.5)
There’s no sweet way of putting it for the Blue Jackets: they blew a 3-1 first-period lead in Game 3.
Columbus will have to forget that colossal chokejob quickly, as the Blue Jackets get back on the ice this Tuesday.
Despite the loss, the Blue Jackets saw their offense wake up in Game 3 after getting limited to a goal in each of the first two games of the series. Cam Atkinson, who led the Jackets in goals in the regular season, finally found his stroke in these playoffs, scoring twice on Sunday.
Hopefully for Sergei Bobrovsky, the Blue Jackets could sustain that offense. The goalie has been repeatedly nailed by Pittsburgh’s scorers and some scoring cushion from his teammates will help ease the pressure off his shoulders.
Matt Calvert’s return after a one-game suspension could help spark further the Blue Jackets’ offense that ranked sixth with 3.01 goals for per game in the regular season. Calvert scored the Blue Jackets’ lone goal in Game 1.
The over is 2-0 in Columbus’ last two home games.
Columbus (+115) avoids getting swept, wins Game 4, 3-2.
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