The defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins are trying to make quick work of the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round of the NHL playoffs. The Penguins are listed near a pick’em to eliminate the Blue Jackets on Tuesday, as they hope to complete a four-game sweep of their first-round series in Columbus.
Odds courtesy of OddsShark.com
Pittsburgh’s 5-4 overtime victory in Game 3 on Sunday saw rookie Jake Guentzel tally a hat trick, including the game-winning goal at the 13:10 mark of the extra session. The Pens trailed 3-1 after the first period, but goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury was solid after that rough start to outplay counterpart Sergei Bobrovsky for the third straight time. The Blue Jackets have now lost seven of the past nine meetings with Pittsburgh.
The other two NHL playoff matchups continuing on Tuesday will also see the road teams attempt to take commanding 3-1 series leads back home for Game 5. Both also have similar NHL betting lines near a pick’em, with the Montreal Canadiens visiting the New York Rangers in the early game and the defending Western Conference champion San Jose Sharks hosting the upstart Edmonton Oilers in the late game.
The Canadiens and the Rangers were each outstanding road teams during the regular season, and that has carried over to their first-round series. In fact, New York posted the most wins away from home of any team in the league, going 27-12-2. But the Rangers were a little over .500 at Madison Square Garden at 21-16-4 and need to win Game 4 in order to even the series heading to Montreal for Game 5 on Thursday.
The Oilers were very good on the road during the regular season as well at 22-14-5, so it was not surprising to see them steal back a 1-0 victory in San Jose to take a 2-1 series lead. Edmonton won Game 3 behind a third-period goal from Zack Kassian along with a 23-save shutout from goalie Cam Talbot, who blanked the Sharks for the second consecutive time after dropping the series opener 3-2 in overtime at home. The Oilers have won five of the past six meetings dating back to the regular season.