NHL Picks: Play Penguins (-170) at Home to Sting the Blue Jackets

SBR Staff

Friday, November 13, 2015 8:48 PM GMT

Friday, Nov. 13, 2015 8:48 PM GMT

The Blue Jackets were expected to be a much improved team this year, but that hasn’t happened and they have one of the worst records in the league coming into Pittsburgh tonight. 

 

Columbus Blue Jackets (4-12-0 SU, 7-9 PL, 9-6-1 OU) vs Pittsburgh Penguins (10-5-0 SU, 5-10 PL, 3-9-3 OU)
When: 7:00 PM ET, Friday, November 13, 2015
Where: Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, PA
Lines: 5.5
Total: -180

 

The Blue Jackets Are Learning To Score
The Columbus Blue Jackets had a horrible start to their season as they lost their first eight games of the year, scoring just 1.7 gpg, but in their last eight games they have gone 4-4 and have averaged 2.88 gpg. For the year the Blue Jackets are now ranked 21st in the league in scoring, putting up 2.4 gpg. Five players on the team have scored four or more goals this year, with Boone Jenner leading the way with eight goals.

The Columbus Blue Jackets biggest problem this year has been at the defensive end of the Ice, where they rank 29th in the league in goals allowed, giving up 3.7 gpg, while also ranking 28th in penalty kill, allowing their opponents to convert on 25% of their chances. Getting the start in goal should be Sergei Bobrovsky, who has all four wins for Columbus this year. Sergei is 7-5 with a 3.02 GAA in his career vs Pittsburgh.

 

Pittsburgh Grabs Big Shootout Win Over Canadiens
Wednesday night was big for the surging Pittsburgh Penguins as they knocked off the Montreal Canadiens, who have the best record in the league, at home in a 4-3 shootout. Patric Hornqvist scored the game tying goal in the third period and Sidney Crosby scored the game winning goal in the shootout to garner the win. Crosby also had two assists in the game and that now gives him nine points on the year. He only has two goals thus far, which is a bit of a mystery.

The Penguins are now 10-2 in their last 12 games, but they are still having issues on offense as they rank 26th in the league in scoring at 2.3 ggp. It’s a good thing they have Marc- Andre Fleury in goal as he leads the third best scoring defense in the league (2.1 gpg) and they are also 5th in the league in penalty kill (87.7%). Fleury is 8-5 with a 2.01 GAA on the year, while vs Columbus he is 7-4 with a 2.40 GAA in his career.

 

Columbus: 25-64 in their last 89 road games vs. a team with a home winning percentage of greater than .600 1-7 in their last eight vs. Eastern Conference

Pittsburgh: 80-29 in their last 109 home games vs. a team with a losing road record 7-0 in their last seven vs. Eastern Conference

 

The Penguins have now won 10 of their last 12 games and it will be very hard for them to lose this game. Yes the Blue Jackets offense has improved, but still very few teams have gotten much off of Fleury this year, while everyone has scored off of the Jackets and Bobrovsky. The Jackets have the 2nd worst defense in the league and I feel that the Pittsburgh offense will have a good game vs them. Pittsburgh should follow-up a hard-fought win with an easier victory.

NHL Pick: Pittsburgh Penguins -170 at Pinnacle

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