Blue Jackets hold on to complete first-round sweep of Lightning

Jose Verdugo
Abril 17, 2019

The Blue Jackets barely snuck into the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference, finishing just two points clear of the Montreal Canadiens.

"It's so much fun to play in this kind of atmosphere, " said Bobrovsky after the Blue Jackets won in front of a raucous home crowd that had been waiting 18 years for the team to win a playoff series.

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"It was a great series, " wing Josh Anderson said.

"We don't have to overthink, we just have to enjoy tonight and prepare for another work get-together, work for each other and, yup, let's see what's going to happen", Bobrovsky said.

The Blue Jackets, with a 7-3 win in over Tampa Bay in Game 4, have finally won a Stanley Cup playoff series, removing yet another asterisk from the franchise's name, one of the last reminders of its chronic struggles.

Tampa was close to forcing overtime in Game 3, trailing by one with less than a minute left in the third period, but Cam Atkinson's empty-net goal sealed a two-goal victory for the Blue Jackets.

The Avalanche posted a total of 4.24 expected goals for (xGF) in the second and third games while the Flames could only muster up 2.87, per Natural Stat Trick.

Stamkos, Cedric Paquette and Brayden Point scored for Tampa Bay, which never led in this elimination game.

The Lightning had 128 points in the regular season, with a points percentage of.780, the second-highest rate for an 82-game season in National Hockey League history, behind only the 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings (.799). He hasn't practised since leaving Game 2.

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Columbus leads the series, 3-0, as the Lightning are in danger of becoming the first President's Trophy winners to get swept in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Not only has Stamkos been held off the scoresheet completely, but he has also taken a total of eight shots on goal, none of which came in Game 3 on Sunday night, and he now stands at a minus-5 rating.

It wasn't almost enough to stop the Islanders. NY allowed the fewest goals in the league during the regular season, and then backed it up with 12-plus periods of sound hockey that's quickly become their calling card under first-year coach Barry Trotz, who led the Washington Capitals to the Stanley Cup last season. The Lightning scored once on just six power-play opportunities in this series; the Blue Jackets, meanwhile, were a stellar 5-for-10 with the man advantage. After quietly posting the best season of his career, Stamkos couldn't find a way onto the scoresheet until Game 4, but it was too little, too late.

Game 5 is Thursday night back in Winnipeg.

Vladimir Tarasenko scored and Jordan Binnington made 37 saves for the Blues.

Tampa dropped a tight opener 4-3 after Columbus clawed their way back from being down 3-0. The Lightning had the most effective power play since 1988-89 in the regular season, at 28.1 percent.

Scheifele tied it at the 7:33 mark, tipping in a feed from Connor. Connor had the set up on Scheifele's tying goal and also crashed the net to pick up the OT victor that has the Jets heading home with some momentum.

After a slow start in Game 3, the Blues came out strong in the first period. "They executed their game plan".

Binnington came up big on a point-blank chance from Scheifele early in the second, and Brandon Tanev hit the crossbar on a breakaway midway through the period. Alex Tuch and Jonathan Marchessault added a couple more in the third period, which also saw a bevy of penalties and the ejection of Evander Kane. After the first two periods San Jose had 15 shots on net from the slot, but Fleury's brilliance throughout the game was the difference.

Right now, the only people responsible for the position the Lightning is in right now is themselves; both the players and the coaching staff.

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