The Columbus Blue Jackets and the Pittsburgh Penguins open the first round of the Eastern NHL playoffs this Wednesday, when they clash in game 1 at 7:30 PM ET at the CONSOL Energy Center.
The Penguins ended the regular season with two losses (vs. Philadelphia and Ottawa); however, Pittsburgh beat the Jackets in all five games this season, outscoring Columbus 16-8 in all meetings.
“They were good hockey games,” Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. “I don’t think you can say `Hey we won five’ and that’s going to have some large bearing on this series.”
Pittsburgh averages 3 goals per game, 5th best in the NHL. The Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury is 14-16 in the postseason. “I think he’s done everything he’s had to do to bounce back,” Penguins star Sidney Crosby said. “As players, we’re behind him and we know what he can bring.”
The Columbus Blue Jackets finished the season hot winning four of the last five regular season games. “It’s a new season,” Blue Jackets forward Boone Jenner said. “Right now, it’s zip-zip and we’re going to start Day 1.”
Blue Jackets are +165 and the Penguins -165 in the NHL money line; the game total as 5.5 goals. Columbus is 1-6 SU in its last 7 games when playing on the road against Pittsburgh, but the Penguins are 2-6 SU in their last 8 games at home.
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Pittsburgh’s last 9 games when playing at home against Columbus.