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Game 5 – Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets NHL Playoff Betting Predictions & Preview

Penguins vs Blue Jackets Hockey Odds

The Pittsburgh Penguins and Columbus Blue Jackets will see their opening round playoff series shift back to Pittsburgh with the series tied at two games apiece. No lead has been safe in this series, with both offenses rolling, and both goaltenders looking ordinary.

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First-round Game 5
Series tied 2-2
Columbus Blue Jackets (2-2) at Pittsburgh Penguins (2-2)
Date: Saturday, April 26, 2014
Time: 7:00 PM ET
In Canada? Try Pinnacle
Venue: Consol Energy Center
City: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
O/U Odds: 5.5
Money Line: Pittsburgh -173, Columbus +157

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The Penguins were moments away from a 3-1 series lead when goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury misplayed a puck behind his own net, leading to a game-tying goal from Brandon Dubinsky in the closing moments of regulation. Nick Foligno then needed just 2:49 into overtime to deposit the game-winning goal.

A year ago, Fleury was replaced by backup Tomas Vokoun, fueling a postseason run by the Penguins, but the team is sticking with Fleury, at least for now, in hopes that he will re-find the form that made him a No. 1 overall pick.

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Interestingly enough, Fleury’s save percentage is actually higher (.903-.900) than his counterpart, as Sergei Bobrovsky hasn’t been at the top of his game against the Penguins. Bobrovsky entered this series with a career 3.05 GAA and .902 save percentage against the Penguins.
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Each of the Columbus wins, in Games 2 and 4, came with the team coming from behind to overcome two-goal deficits to pull off the win. The surprising thing about this series has been the fact that the Blue Jackets have been able to keep up with the Penguins’ scoring pace, with each side scoring 14 goals through the first four games of the series.

The Penguins continue to wait for captain Sidney Crosby to arrive in this series. Crosby racked up 104 points in the regular season, tops in the NHL, compiling 36 goals and 68 assists during the regular year. In the playoffs, he hasn’t kept up that pace, with just four assists through four games, extending his postseason goalless drought to nine games.

It’s tough to put faith in Fleury in this one, but the Penguins know they can’t go back to Columbus trailing in the series. Expect a stellar effort from the team’s top two lines in this one as they will look to bury the Blue Jackets’ back line.

With that said, Fleury has been good for a soft goal or two against, and with the Penguins poised to unleash a barrage of shots on Bobrovsky, who has looked human in this series, a slew of goals should be expected.

Free NHL Pick

The Penguins are 49-19 in their last 68 home games, while the Blue Jackets are 2-10 in their last 12 games following a win. The Blue Jackets are also 2-8 in the last 10 meetings between these teams.

The over is 16-5 in the last 21 meetings between these teams, and 19-6-2 in the Penguins’ last 27 conference quarterfinal games.

The play: Parlay – Pittsburgh -173, Over 5.5

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