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Tampa Bay Lightning at Columbus Blue Jackets preview: This team needs to dig in deep

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Let’s see what this team is made of.

Columbus Blue Jackets v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game Two Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Tampa Bay Lightning at Columbus Blue Jackets: ROUND 1, GAME 3

Time: 7:30pm Eastern Time

Location: Scotiabank Arena

Broadcast/Streaming: NBCSN, SN, SUN, FS-O, TVAS

Opponent SBNation Site: Jackets Cannon

Preview:

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

Forwards

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

Defense Pairs

Ryan McDonagh - Erik Cernak

Mikhail Sergachev - Kevin Shattenkirk

Victor Hedman - Zach Bogosian

Braydon Coburn, Luke Schenn

Injured: Jan Rutta

Goaltenders

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Curtis McElhinney

Columbus Blue Jackets

Forwards

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

Defense Pairs

Zach Werenski - Seth Jones

Vladislav Gavrikov - David Savard

Ryan Murray - Markus Nutivaara

Dean Kukan

Goaltenders

Joonas Korpisalo

Matiss Kivlenieks

Injured: Elvis Merzlikins