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Game 3: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets NHL Gambling Prediction & Lines

Penguins vs Blue Jackets Playoff Betting?

The Columbus Blue Jackets too care of a few milestones on Saturday night – they beat the Pittsburgh Penguins for the first time in seven games and they also recorded their first franchise payoff win in the process.

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Pittsburgh (52-24-5-3) at Columbus (44-33-5-2)
When: 7:00 PM ET, Monday, April 21, 2014
Where: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
Broadcast: CBC, RDS2, NBCSN, ROOT, FS-O
Series tied 1-1
Pens vs. Jackets Betting Lines
Pittsburgh Penguins -1½ +245 -115 Ov 5½ +109
Columbus Blue Jackets +1½ -290 +104 Un 5½ -120

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The two teams get back at it Monday night with a lot more on the line and with a little hate built up between the clubs. Pittsburgh finds themselves in a tougher-than-foreseen battle and could be in trouble if they are unable to slow what has been the better team in the two games so far.

The Pittsburgh Penguins were supposed to roll in this series but someone forgot to tell the Columbus Blue Jackets. In a series of serious momentum swings the Pittsburgh Penguins will attempt to get the “Mo” back when they hit the road Monday night. After coming back from a 3-1 deficit to win in Game 1, the Pens squandered a similar lead in Game 2 only to lose.

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Special teams let the Penguins down Saturday. Pittsburgh has surrendered as short-handed goal in each game in the series thus far and the Pens went just 1-for-8 on the power play in Game 2 after going 2-for-3 in Game 1. Penguins defenseman Matt Niskanen has two goals and two assists in the series, Sidney Crosby had two assists Saturday and has three in the series but the team will need a little more from Evgeni Malkin who was held pointless on Saturday and didn’t look great in the loss.

The biggest question mark in the series heading in was Marc-Andre Fleury. He has played well in the first two games of the series but has been plagued by a lack of support thus far. Pittsburgh’s one flaw – their defense is being exposed already and we are just two games into the postseason!
Well, nobody will criticize the Columbus Blue Jackets for lack of effort! They have been the better team in the series thus far and perhaps deserve better than a 1-1 tie. Columbus is the more engaged team and now gets a home date in front of what is sure to be a rabid crowd.

One bit of bad news is that veteran defenseman Fedor Tyutin may be forced to miss Game 3 after leaving Game 2 with an injury. A veteran presence on the blue line would seem to be crucial against the Penguins’ talent-latent forward group – his absence could be the difference.

That said Columbus has ridden defenseman Jack Johnson hard in the first two games – Johnson has been remarkable in a shut-down roll. He played 38 minutes Saturday and is expected to log some major ice-time again Monday. Johnson has recorded 15 points in 14 career postseason games and has two goals and one assist through the first two games – superb.

Nick Foligno is expected to make his playoff debut Monday – his first action since April 3. Foligno should give the Jackets a boost offensively and his veteran presence should also help the Columbus forwards limit the effectiveness of the Pittsburgh’s forwards. Columbus has been decent so far in the offensive zone against Pittsburgh – they have averaged 39.5 shots per game and they have scored seven times against the heavily favored Pens.

Dave’s FREE NHL Betting Prediction

A few trends to consider:
• Under is 6-2 in PIT last 8 road games.
• CLB are 2-9 in their last 11 games following a win.
• Under is 7-2 in CLB last 9 vs. Metropolitan.
• Under is 12-5 in CLB last 17 overall.
• PIT are 7-1 in the last 8 meetings.
• Over is 7-2 in the last 9 meetings in Columbus

The Pittsburgh Penguins certainly haven’t looked all that great so far in the first two games in the series – Columbus has been the better team thus far. My gut tells me that Saturday night’s game was a wake-up call for the Pens and that they come out swinging on Monday night and prove why they are a Cup contender this year.

On paper this series shouldn’t be close – the Pens will be out to prove it on the ice Monday! Pittsburgh at -115? I’ll take it!

Pick: Pittsburgh Penguins -115


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About DaveB

Dave B has been a Fantasy Football writer for us for 10 years. A couch potato wannabe, Dave’s insights have been read by 10’s of people for years. He hope’s for world peace + global relaxation. Enjoy and remember only smoke things that are completely natural.