Like Sergeant Snorkel, the Blue Jackets are hanging from a small tree growing out of a NHL betting cliff. Columbus defeated the Pens 5-4 on Tuesday to force a fifth game but still face a 1-3 deficit entering tonight. William Karlsson, Boone Jenner, and Markus Nutivaara each had a goal and an assist while Jack Johnson and Josh Anderson scored, and Brandon Saad had two assists. Sergei Bobrovsky made 27 saves. This was the Jackets’ first postseason regulation win and third overall, all of which have come at the expense of Pittsburgh. Columbus is 3-11 all time in the playoffs, which may have to do with the fact that they have allowed at least three goals in each of their postseason games and four or more on 10 occasions.
Time: 7:05 PM
Venue: PPG Paints Arena
Sportsbook odds for fans who bet on hockey:
Blue Jackets +1½ (-170) 5½ (-130) +168
Penguins -1½ (+150) 5½ (+110) -195
Recent form: The Bjs have lost nine of their last 11 games, seven of their last eight on the road, four of their last five meetings with the Penguins.
News: Head coach John Tortorella wanted his boys to feel what it was like to win a postseason game and, for better or for worse, they did so. “It’s not like we played a flawless game,” Tortorella said. “I looked at some things that I didn’t want to have happen that way, but I think we’re going to be better because they did and we found a way to win.”
Trends for fans who bet on hockey: The Blue Jackets have covered the spread in only one of their last six road games and the same applies to their last six encounters with Pittsburgh. The NHL betting total has gone under in seven of Columbus’s last eight games on the road.
Recent form: The Pens have gotten wins in seven of their last 10 games, including four of their last five at home. Additionally, they have gone 5-0 in the last five times they have hosted Columbus.
News: The Penguins would have wanted to sweep the series but since they must play a fifth game, they’re happy to be back on home ice. “The first two games they were a big part of our success,” left winger Conor Sheary said. “[The fans] were behind us the whole way. We didn’t have the start we wanted in either game, but they stuck with us and we rallied together and were able to come out with two wins.”
Trends for fans who bet on hockey: The Pens are 4-1 against the spread in their last five games as well as in their last five home games against the Blue Jackets. The NHL betting total has gone under in four of Pittsburgh’s last five at home, in four of the Penguins last six versus Columbus, and in four of the Pens’ last six times hosting the Blue Jackets.