NHL Preview and Free Pick: Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
A showdown of Metropolitan Division rivals who are battling for playoff positioning highlights tonight’s
NHL schedule. The Columbus Blue Jackets travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Penguins, a meeting of two
clubs separated by just two points in the standings.
Date/Time/TV: Thur. Mar.7, 7:00 PM EST, NBCSN
Money Line: Columbus Blue Jackets +115, Pittsburgh Penguins -135
The Blue Jackets were last in action on Tuesday. They were on the road at the New Jersey Devils,
skating away with a 3-2 shootout victory. That victory snapped a two-game losing streak. For the
season, Columbus is 37-26-3 with 77 points. That leaves them in 9th place in the Eastern Conference
and two points back of a playoff berth.
The Penguins are in 7th place with 77 points and a record of 35-22-9. Right on their tail and in 8th
place are the Montreal Canadiens, who also have 77 points. Pittsburgh was also in action on Tuesday,
picking up a 3-2 home victory over the Florida Panthers. That was the 2nd victory in a row for the
Penguins and the team’s third win in its last four outings.
Columbus Blue Jackets
Columbus has been average of late and unable to make headway in its race for a playoff spot. Over
the last 10, the team is 5-5 (4-6 O/U). The Blue Jackets have been very good on the road this season
with a mark of 20-10-1 to date.
Sergei Bobrovsky is expected to be between the pipes this evening. He’s 28-21-1 on the year with a
2.81 GAA and .905 save percentage. Bobrovsky has wins in two of his last five while allowing 16
goals. Cam Atkinson tops the team in goals with 36, while Artemi Panarin leads the way in assists
Pittsburgh has been playing some of its best hockey of the season as the team continue to battle for
ap playoff spot. The team is 6-2-2 (6-4 O/U) over its last 10 contests. The Penguins have been solid
on the home ice with a record of 18-12-2 thus far.
Matt Murray has the probable tag for the Penguins. He brings a record of 21-10-3 to the table with a
.914 save percentage and a 2.87 GAA. Murray is 3-2 over his last five with 13 goals allowed. Jake
Guentzel is the leading goal scorer with 33, while Sidney Crosby tops the team in helpers with 56.
Blue Jackets vs. Penguins Prediction
This will be the third meeting of the season for these two clubs. The Penguins won the first two – one
on the home ice and one at Columbus. They’ll be meeting again on Saturday for the second part of a
home-and-away series. Pittsburgh holds an 8-2 edge for the last 10 meetings.
The Penguins are playing really some of their best hockey of the season, while the Blue Jackets are
grinding and having some difficulties at the moment. We’ll take the hosts to pick up the win.
Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Pittsburgh Penguins Pick: Pittsburgh Penguins -135