Penguins Can Win Because…
Something changed for them in Game 3. Although the Pens trailed for most of Game 3, their demeanor changed in the second period and they started to outplay the Blue Jackets from that point. Then the Pens came out in the third period on a mission and outscored the Blue Jackets 3-1, took a 4-3 lead and outshot them 15-5 in the period. On the whole for Game 3, they outshot the Blue Jackets 41-20. That gives you a good sense of what’s happening on the ice.
Once the Pens woke up, their forecheck was unstoppable. The Blue Jackets were running around in their own zone and were lucky that the Pens only finished with four goals. If this continues in Game 4, the Blue Jackets will be facing a 3-1 series deficit by the end of it. Take the Pens with your NHL picks.
The Columbus Blue
Jackets Can Win Because…
They’ll bounce back. A seven-game playoff series is all about adjustments and right now, it’s the Blue Jackets turn. The Pens made some tweaks halfway through Game 3 and the Blue Jackets had no answers. Now it’s their turn to go back to the drawing board and find some solutions.
The Blue Jackets don’t have to do a whole lot, really. The reality is they’ve held 3-1 leads in two of the three games and they’re supposed to be a quality defensive team. If they can just figure out how to hold those leads, they’ll be in great shape.
Outlook & Pick
The Pens are up 2-1 in this series and their main offensive weapons have yet to get going. That has to be a concern for Columbus. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin have yet to score. Chris Kunitz and James Neal have combined for just one point. We’re talking about four players that finished with at least 23 goals and 61 points each.
The Pens seem to have figured out the Blue Jackets in Game 3 and I expect that to continue in Game 4. Take them with your sports picks to get the win.
MLB Pick: Pens -128 at BetOnline