Tampa Bay Lightning at Columbus Blue Jackets: ROUND 1, GAME 3
Time: 12:00pm Eastern Time
Location: Scotiabank Arena
Broadcast/Streaming: NBCSN, SN, SUN, FS-O, TVAS
Opponent SBNation Site: Jackets Cannon
It will be an incredibly early puck drop, but the task remains the same: the Tampa Bay Lightning will have the opportunity to eliminate the Columbus Blue Jackets with a win in Game 5 and exact a little revenge for last season.
Columbus put up a valiant effort last game, starting strong right out of the gate. Tampa Bay struggled for large parts of each period, but they capitalized when it mattered. The Lightning can’t let their guard down for a single moment this afternoon — the Jackets’ efforts to win will likely be doubled as they attempt to stave off elimination.
The Lightning’s third line of Barclay Goodrow, Yanni Gourde and Blake Coleman has shone in this series and helped turn momentum in their favour. And while the other lines haven’t been as dominant, there’s no denying the Bolts’ top line has come through offensively when needed.
Physicality was a factor in Game 4, as dangerous hits from Pierre-Luc Dubois and Nick Foligno could have seriously injured Alex Killorn and Mikhail Sergachev. The Lightning were lucky neither missed a shift, but the team has to be ready to endure anything and everything the Blue Jackets will throw their way — especially since the league decided neither hit was worth supplemental discipline.
Again, sloppy penalties gave the Blue Jackets an opportunity to get back into last game. The Lightning are playing with fire by continuing to take unnecessary penalties. Tampa Bay has been the better team for most of this series, but it doesn’t mean they can sit back and let Columbus run the show. They’ll have to hit the ground—er, ice, running in Game 5 and not let up. Hopefully we’ll be celebrating a berth into Round 2.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Ondrej Palat - Brayden Point - Nikita Kucherov
Alex Killorn - Anthony Cirelli - Tyler Johnson
Barclay Goodrow - Yanni Gourde - Blake Coleman
Carter Verhaeghe - Cedric Paquette - Patrick Maroon
Mitchell Stephens, Alexander Volkov, Mathieu Joseph
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
Boone Jenner - Nick Foligno - Cam Atkinson
Alexander Wennberg - Riley Nash - Gustav Nyquist
Eric Robinson - Kevin Stenlund - Liam Foudy
Devin Shore, Emil Bemstrom
Zach Werenski - Seth Jones
Vladislav Gavrikov - David Savard
Ryan Murray - Markus Nutivaara
Injured: Elvis Merzlikins