NHL Picks: Blue Jackets vs. Penguins in Game 5

David Lawrence

Thursday, April 24, 2014 3:48 PM GMT

Thursday, Apr. 24, 2014 3:48 PM GMT

The Pittsburgh Penguins were 22 seconds away from having a 3-1 series lead…until goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury melted down again. Now they head into Game 5 with the series tied and everyone questioning why they’re such a big favorite on the NHL odds.

The Columbus Blue Jackets Can Win Because…
They’ve gotten into Marc-Andre Fleury’s head. We’ve seen this in two straight playoff seasons now as Fleury has become a postseason head case. He was an absolute gong show in the playoffs two seasons again versus the Philadelphia Flyers. Then last season, he collapsed and was pulled against the New York Islanders.

In Game 4, he misplayed the puck and handed the Blue Jackets an easy game-tying goal in the dying seconds of the third period. Then he allowed a simple wrister from the blue line to get past him in overtime. He’s a mess right now.

The Blue Jackets have scored at least three goals in every game and been in contention every time. If Fleury is in net, the Blue Jackets are worth a shot with your sports picks.

Take a Look at the Blue Jackets vs. Penguins Series Price!

The Pittsburgh Penguins Can Win Because…
They’ll bounce back. This is a veteran team that’s been through this before. They’ve experienced this in two straight postseasons and they know how to respond.

The Pens have Tomas Vokoun in their holster and head coach Dan Bylsma has his finger on the trigger. If Fleury has any sorts of issues in Game 5, he’ll be back on the bench.

The good news for the Pens is that their offense and forecheck has looked great in the last two games. If they can keep that up and avoid giving up any bad goals at their end, they’ll be just fine.

[gameodds]7/266865/?r3=43-19-349/dec&r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Outlook & Pick
Fleury is a gong show right now and the Pens know it. Game 4 was nothing short of an unmitigated disaster. What should have been an easy 3-1 series lead for the Penguins is now a 2-2 series with all sorts of questions and pressure mounting.

I’m going to stay away from the side in this one and bet the over. The Pens know they need goals as Fleury can’t be trusted. Meanwhile, the Blue Jackets have scored at least three in every game. Over on the NHL odds board looks good here.

Hockey Pick: Over 5.5 at BetOnline

comment here