Time: 7:30pm Eastern Time
Location: Scotiabank Arena
Broadcast/Streaming: NBCSN, SN, SUN, FS-O, TVAS
Opponent SBNation Site: Jackets Cannon
The series is tied, and although it means that there won’t be a sweep like last season, the Tampa Bay Lightning can’t be too happy with how they played in Game 2. They started off strong and opened the scoring, but they sat back for the rest of the game and let the Columbus Blue Jackets run the show, something they cannot afford to do anymore if they want to win this series.
Joonas Korpisalo was once again exceptional for the Blue Jackets, but Andrei Vasilevskiy had a bit of a rougher outing for the Lightning. Vasilevskiy has the ability to steal games, but with Korpisalo looking nearly unbeatable through two games, the Bolts will need Vasy to match his performance in each game.
Sloppy mistakes once again proved costly for the Bolts, including more unnecessary penalties, and the team wasn’t able to capitalize on the man-advantage, either. Whether Jon Cooper juggles the lines in an attempt to find more offense remains to be seen, but the only line seeming to generate any extended offensive zone time in Game 2 was the Goodrow-Gourde-Coleman line.
The biggest advantage the Blue Jackets have heading into Games 3 and 4 is that they will have the last change. With them already being so successful at neutralizing the Lightning forwards, Tampa Bay will have to work twice as hard to get some sort of offense going, meaning they have to capitalize on any mistakes Columbus does make — which there aren’t many of.
This series may be far from over, but the Lightning will have to put a ton of work in to win Game 3. If they can find a way to break through and expose the Blue Jackets’ stifling defensive system, while not sacrificing their own defense in the process, hopefully tonight’s game will have a different outcome.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Ondrej Palat - Brayden Point - Nikita Kucherov
Alex Killorn - Anthony Cirelli - Tyler Johnson
Barclay Goodrow - Yanni Gourde - Blake Coleman
Cedric Paquette - Mitchell Stephens - Patrick Maroon
Alex Volkov, Mathieu Joseph, Carter Verhaeghe
Injured: Steven Stamkos
Ryan McDonagh - Erik Cernak
Mikhail Sergachev - Kevin Shattenkirk
Victor Hedman - Zach Bogosian
Braydon Coburn, Luke Schenn
Injured: Jan Rutta
Columbus Blue Jackets
Alexandre Texier - Pierre-Luc Dubois - Oliver Bjorkstrand
Liam Foudy - Boone Jenner - Nick Foligno
Alexander Wennberg - Riley Nash - Gustav Nyquist
Eric Robinson - Devin Shore - Emil Bemstrom
Injured: Cam Atkinson
Zach Werenski - Seth Jones
Vladislav Gavrikov - David Savard
Ryan Murray - Markus Nutivaara
Injured: Elvis Merzlikins