Columbus Blue Jackets (-125) vs. Boston Bruins (+105)
Game time: Monday, May 6, 7 p.m. ET
Location: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
Where to watch: NBCSN
Series: Boston leads 3-2
Coming off a 4-3 near-comeback loss at Boston in Game 5, the Blue Jackets head home to face the Bruins in Game 6. On Saturday, Columbus fought hard in the third period to offset a 3-1 deficit, only to watch its rally fall flat, as Bruins right winger David Pastrnak slung the puck into the net with 1:28 remaining in regulation.
With back-to-back losses in the 3-2 series, the Blue Jackets face their first must-win scenario of the postseason. They never lost a game in their first-round series against Presidents’ Trophy winner Tampa Bay, who opened as the favorites to win the Stanley Cup.
In last year’s NHL playoffs, the Blue Jackets lost in Game 6 of the first round to eventual champion Washington. Should Columbus win against Boston on Monday, the Blue Jackets will set up their first Game 7 in franchise history.
Six-time Stanley Cup champion Boston will carry plenty of confidence into its road game following its thrilling win on Saturday. The top line of Pastrnak, Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron scored three goals in the contest after a slow start in the series, with just one point combined in the first three games.
Boston goalie Tuukka Rask has been key as well, with a few huge saves on Columbus’ Cam Atkinson in Game 5 and a .936 save percentage in the series. Columbus goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky is right alongside him with a .925 save percentage, but Bobrovsky has given up four goals in each of the last two games.
The Bruins are doing well on the road, going 5-2 in their last seven away from home. However, Boston is 3-7 in its last 10 playoff games as an underdog and 1-4 in its last five meetings in Columbus.
The home team in the series is 9-4 in the last 13, while the Blue Jackets are 8-2 in their last 10 home games and 7-2 in their last nine games as a favorite.
The Blue Jackets proved they could score fast under pressure in Game 5, even if they ultimately fell short to the Bruins. They need a lot more to go right in order to win Game 6, but a stop at Nationwide Arena should give the team enough of a boost to accomplish the task. Expect Columbus to pull out a win and force Game 7 in Boston.
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