Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Pittsburgh Penguins - 4/16/17 NHL Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Ross Houston
April 24, 2017

When they were being outplayed, Marc-Andre Fleury stood tall.

The general consensus among those who spoke on the better-start issue was that they expected the Blue Jackets to get a boost from their home crowd.

Columbus players and their coach John Tortorella are quick to bring up hitting and playing physical whenever they've been asked about their strategy against the Penguins this series.

To make matters worse for Werenski, his Blue Jackets side were beaten 5-4 in overtime.

Fear not, though. Nothing that happened in Game 4 suggests that the Jackets have what it takes to mount a historic comeback.

It's been nearly two months since the trade deadline, when we didn't know if Fleury would even be a Penguin this postseason. The Blue Jackets were lucky to get out of the last few minutes of the period without another score from the swarming Penguins.

The Oilers bounced back from an overtime loss in their first playoff game in 11 years to post consecutive shutouts and take a 2-1 series lead over the defending Western Conference champions. It seems simply like a delaying of the inevitable. He made a great save late in the third period on Ron Hainsey, but that was one of his only noteworthy positive contributions all night. Given their recent records against each other and the fact they ended the season with separated by three points and the same number of wins, these two teams were supposed to be going the distance. Bobrovsky (27 of 31 on Tuesday) does not look at all like a man up to that task.

The Penguins continued to apply more pressure when Columbus was assessed a penalty for too many men on the ice.

"I just wanted them to see what it was like to win a playoff game with this team together", he said. The Columbus goalie got most of the shot, but it dribbled in off of him anyway to give the Penguins life heading into the second intermission.

"I'm trying to keep up with them for the most part", Crosby said.

"They've stuck to their game plan and we've stuck to ours and it was a real tough test for us out there the second half of the game", Allen said.

I'm never a fan of looking past opponents, but you just get a feeling this one is as good as over - and if the Pens are able to wrap it up in the next game or two, what a spot they would be in.

What, Mr. Tortorella, are you and your players thinking ahead of Game 4? Quite the contrary, actually.

Yes, a sweep would have been very nice, but don't sweat Columbus' victory. After Tuesday's five-goal outing, in fact, the Blue Jackets have piled on nine in their last two after scoring just two goals in the opening pair of series showdowns.

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