Pittsburgh Penguins at Columbus Blue Jackets Free NHL Picks & Odds
by Guy Bruhn - 3/26/2014
Friday, March 28, 7:00 PM on ROOT, FSOH
Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
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Pittsburgh had faint hopes of catching Boston for the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference playoff hunt but a recent skid has all but put those hopes to rest. Instead they'll buckle down for the last nine games of the season including a potential preview of the 1st round of the Playoffs in a Friday night matchup with Columbus. The Blue Jackets need to make the postseason first as they are one of four teams in the East with 80 points fighting for two playoff spots.
Pittsburgh is safely in the postseason and will enjoy home ice in the first round by winning the Metropolitan. They're playing like a team resting up for the postseason by going 5-4-1 in their last 10. They've played two OT games in the last week and Friday night's game in Columbus follows a Thursday night matchup with the LA Kings so the Penguins could have a definite fatigue factor.
The Blue Jackets will be well rested on Friday night after having two full days of rest following Tuesday's 4-2 win over Detroit. The win over the Red Wings was extra important as the teams are in a dead heat for the two remaining postseason slots.
Pittsburgh has swept the season series so far which could be especially damaging to the Blue Jackets psyche if they were to meet up in the postseason. The Penguins have posted victories of 4-2, 3-0, 2-1, and most recently 5-3 at the end of December. A win on Friday night on their home ice could be the confidence builder the Blue Jackets need to finish out their final 10 games strong and make the playoffs.
Pittsburgh is 20-17 straight up on the road this season
Pittsburgh is 15-18-4 against the over/under on the road this season
Columbus is 19-16 straight up at home this season
Columbus is 18-15-2 against the over/under at home this season
Injuries to Watch
12/23/13 RW Pascal Dupuis Knee out for season
03/25/14 C Evgeni Malkin Foot expected to miss 2-3 weeks
03/23/14 C Joe Vitale Upper Body questionable
02/25/14 RW Beau Bennett Wrist expected to miss 3-4 weeks
02/25/14 RW Chris Conner Foot out 4-6 weeks
02/21/14 D Paul Martin Hand expected to miss a month
02/07/14 D Kris Letang Heart out indefinitely
10/17/13 LW Cody Bass Thumb out indefinitely
03/06/14 D Ryan Murray Knee out for season
01/08/14 RW Jack Skille Abdominal out indefinitely
Guy's Pick: Take Columbus
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