The Columbus Blue Jackets will take on the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight in Game 5 of their First Round NHL Playoffs series, puck drops from the steel city at 7pm.
Columbus has brought life into the state of Ohio as they have tied the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-2 in the opening round of the NHL Playoffs. Tonight they’re on the road facing a battered Penguins team that is certainly in for a dog fight against the Blue Jackets.
Each of these games has been decided by a single goal and the exact score of every game has been 4-3. Two of those games went into overtime, both of which were won by the Blue Jackets.
Historically, Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury has been either great or very shaky. He’s been a little of both in this series, but the Penguins are hoping to have him stand on his head tonight to gain a lead in the series. Pittsburgh won one of the better teams in the league at home this season, going 28-9-4 on home ice this season. They’ve split games at home so far this series. A win here tonight by either team will certainly be huge in this pivotal Game 5.
Pittsburgh was just a few seconds away from taking a 3-1 series lead over Columbus, but Brandon Dubinsky was able to tie the game for the Blue Jackets. It went to overtime and Nick Foligno was able to light the lamp less than three minutes into the overtime session. Because of that, Columbus has life. If they are able to defy the odds in tonight’s game and come away with a victory over the Pens, it will certainly shake up the NHL and its fan base with the Blue Jackets taking a series lead after coming into the post season without a franchise playoff win.
But let’s not get ahead of that just yet. Neither Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin, two of the best players in the world on the same team, have scored yet this post season. That’s certainly a plus for the Penguins, despite the lack of production. If and when they finally get around to getting tallies on the board, the Penguins are going to be very tough to beat. Crosby led the league in points this season and has four assists this post season.
Crosby hasn’t scored in his last nine playoff games, however. Pittsburgh is just 3-6 in those games.
Yet, the Blue Jackets are going to keep coming at the Penguins. If Sergei Bobrovsky can play well in between the pipes and keep the Jackets in this game tonight, they are going to be hanging around and looking for the upset. Jack Johnson leads the club with three goals so far this post season while Dubinsky has logged five assists.
Tonight we expect a close, the team that scores first or take a 3-1 lead are not guarantee to win, it’s been a weird trend in this series. The game will played at Pittsburgh, so everyone assumes the Blue Jackets have no shot, I think they have a great chance to come back to Columbus for game 6 on Monday up 3-2, let’s hope.
Prediction: Jackets 3, Pens 2 (2OT)
TV: Time Warner channel 310
You won’t be able to watch the game on NBC Sports Network, cause it will be blocked in the Cincinnati area.