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Lightning Round: Game Four is a Monday matinee special

Tampa Bay Lightning v Columbus Blue Jackets - Game Three Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images

Game Four is the most important game in a seven game series. Well, at least until Game Five. Actually Game Three is pretty important as well. Are any games not important in a seven game series? Probably not, but lets stick with Game Four. The Lightning played really well for 50 minutes in Game Three and they need to emulate that effort on Monday to take a commanding lead in the series.

The Blue Jackets were tired on Saturday and the Lightning took advantage of it. They came out strong, but faded as the night wore on. It wasn’t just due to the fact that they had played a lot of hockey over the previous week, but the Lightning forechecking and puck possession kept grinding them down throughout the game.

Coach Tortorella will have his team ready to go and the day off on Sunday helps them a little more than it does the Lightning who have had a pretty regular schedule during their time in the bubble. With a win on Monday the odds start to turn in their favor. A Game Four win as the “away” team, and a 3-1 series lead, would give them a 91.8% chance of winning the series. Those are pretty good odds.

Yesterday’s Games:

New York Islanders 2, Washington Capitals 1 (OT)

Islanders lead series 3-0

Braden Holtby showed up for the Capitals on Sunday as he made 32 saves against the Islanders. Unfortunately, the Washington offense remains in isolation. Mat Barzal scored 4:28 into overtime to put the Islanders up 3-0 in the series. The Capitals have been down 3-0 in a playoff series five times and have never come back to win.

Dallas Stars 5, Calgary Flames 4 (OT)

Series tied at 2

Offense from the Dallas Stars? Backed by a hat trick by Joe Pavalski the Stars poured on the offense and tied the series up when Alexander Radulov scored in overtime. Calgary netminder Cam Talbot made 57 saves in the loss. Pavalski’s third goal came with just 12 seconds left in the game.

Chicago Blackhawks 3, Vegas Golden Knights 1

Golden Knights lead series 3-1

Chicago delayed their exit from the Edmonton bubble by winning Sunday afternoon. And it wasn’t the old guard that powered their win as Drake Caggiula, Matthew Highmore, and Alex DeBrincat had the tallies for Chicago. Corey Crawford made 48 saves in net.

Philadelphia Flyers 1, Montreal Canadiens 0

Flyers lead series 2-1

Carter Hart bounced back from a rough outing in Game 2 to shut out Montreal on Sunday. He made 23 saves and was his first career playoff clean sheet. Jakub Voracek scored the lone goal just over five minutes into the first period. That was all Hart needed for the win.

St. Louis Blues 3, Vancouver Canucks 2 (OT)

Canucks lead series 2-1

Brayden Schenn (brother of Luke Schenn) had a breakaway in overtime and he beat Jacob Markstrom to give the Blues their first win in the Edmonton bubble. Jake Allen made his first start of the series for the Blues count as he racked up 39 saves. Markstrom was equally impressive as he made 46 stops in the losing effort.

Today’s Other Games:

Colorado Avalanche “@” Arizona Coyotes

5:30 pm, NBCSN, TVAS, FX-CA, FS-A, FS-A Plus, ALT

Colorado is up 2-1 in the series and hope that Darcy Kuemper doesn’t have another showstopping performance in store for them.

Boston Bruins “@” Carolina Hurricanes

8:00 pm, NBCSN, CBC, TVAS, SN, FS-CR, NESN

Alexander Svechnikov is likely out for the game while David Pastrnak may be back in. Boston will look to take a 3-1 lead in the series, while Carolina will have to rely on Sebastian Aho to drive their offense.

St. Louis Blues “@” Vancouver Canucks

10:30 pm, NBCSN, CBC, SN, FS-MW

After their overtime affair on Sunday night, these two teams are right back at it!

News and Notes from around the league

It looks like Alexander Svechnikov is going to be out for the rest of the Hurricanes series against the Bruins. The slightly silver lining to that black cloud of news is that he hasn’t been ruled out should Carolina find a way to advance. “Everyone’s got to produce.” is how Coach Rod Brind’Amour plans on dealing with the injury to his young star. [Canes Country]

Oskar Lindblom has joined the Flyers in the bubble in Toronto. The 24-year-old doesn’t have a set time for returning to the line-up, but the fact that he is with the team just months after being diagnosed with, and completing treatment for, Ewing’s sarcoma is simply amazing. [ESPN]

Ryan Strome is a restricted free agent this fall. What will it take for the Rangers to keep him around? [Blue Shirt Banter]

Four teams have come back from being down 3-0 in a seven game playoff series. Can you name them all without peeking? [NBC Sports]