NHL Hockey

3
Final 1 2 3 Tot
Tampa Bay 1 2 0 3
Columbus 2 2 3 7
7
Blue Jackets win series 4-0
Three Stars
1: Oliver Bjorkstrand, Cls (1G, 1A)
2: Pierre-Luc Dubois, Cls (1G, 2A)
3: Seth Jones, Cls (1G, 1A)
4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET23:00 GMT7:00 4:00 PM MST6:00 PM EST3:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ET20:00 BRT, April 16, 2019
Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio  Attendance: 19,328

Blue Jackets go for sweep of NHL-best Lightning

Tampa Bay Lightning at Columbus Blue Jackets

  1. The Blue Jackets beat the Lightning, 3-1, on Sunday, taking a 3-0 series lead. It's the first time in franchise history that Columbus has won more than two playoff games in a season. The Jackets are the only franchise in MLB, the NBA, the NFL or the NHL that has never advanced past the first round of the playoffs.
  2. Columbus has held a lead for 98:56 of the 180 total minutes played in this series, equal to 55.0 percent of the time. Only Vegas (64.7 percent) has held a lead for a higher percent of game time in the playoffs.
  3. After his one-goal, three-assist performance in Game 2, Matt Duchene opened the scoring for the Blue Jackets in Game 3. Cam Atkinson has also scored in each of the last two games. Only two Blue Jackets have ever scored in three straight playoff games -- Boone Jenner and Jack Johnson, who both did so in 2014.
  4. The Lightning didn't lose three games in a row all season, and in fact, they only lost back-to-back games twice, once in November and once in February. They'll seek to become the fifth team in NHL history to rally from a 3-0 deficit to win a series.
  5. Tampa Bay's four highest scorers in the regular season - Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, Brayden Point and Victor Hedman - have all been held without a point in the three playoff games. Stamkos has now been held without a point in six straight playoff games dating back to last season, the longest drought of his career.
  6. Andrei Vasilevskiy has allowed 11 goals in the three games against Columbus -- in three regular-season meetings with the Blue Jackets, he allowed a combined three goals. He has a career 1.74 GAA against them in the regular season, but is at 3.73 in the postseason.
(AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

The Tampa Bay Lightning tied an NHL record with 62 regular-season victories.

They're going to need to match another mark to remain in the playoffs.

The 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs, 1975 New York Islanders, 2010 Philadelphia Flyers and 2014 Los Angeles Kings are the only NHL teams to overcome an 3-0 deficit in a seven-game playoff series.

The Lightning find themselves in that position following a 3-1 defeat Sunday night at the Columbus Blue Jackets, who will play host to Game 4 on Tuesday night. Teams that have been up 3-0 have gone on to post a 186-4 record when it comes to winning the series.

"We did a lot of good things, more than in Game 2 for sure," Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh told NHL.com after Sunday's loss. "We've got to stick with the formula there and hope a few more find the back (of the net)."

No team that won the Presidents' Trophy has ever been swept in the first round of the playoffs.

The Lightning played Game 3 without Nikita Kucherov, who led the league with 128 points in the regular season. Kucherov was suspended one game by the NHL Department of Player Safety for boarding Columbus defenseman Markus Nutivaara late in the third period of Game 2.

Tampa Bay's Victor Hedman, last year's Norris Trophy winner as the league's top defenseman, missed Sunday's game with an undisclosed injury and was considered doubtful for Tuesday, Lightning coach Jon Cooper said Monday. Hedman missed the final four games of the regular season with an upper-body injury.

Cooper also was unsure Monday about the status of defenseman Anton Stralman (lower body) and center Alex Killorn (undisclosed). Stralman has yet to appear in the playoffs but practiced Monday, when Killorn did not skate.

"(Kucherov) is a big part of our team," Cooper said. "The leading scorer in the league. He's definitely going to be an MVP finalist, so anytime you take someone like that out of the lineup, as well as Hedman ... I thought we battled."

The Lightning showed some signs of life in the third period Sunday, outshooting Columbus 17-8.

"We started to make some plays," Lightning forward Tyler Johnson told NHL.com. "Throughout the game and throughout the series, I thought we were keeping it too simple in a way. We have a lot of skill in this room, we need to use it."

Since taking a 3-0 lead in the first period of Game 1, the Lightning have been outscored 12-2.

The Blue Jackets are the only current NHL team never to win a Stanley Cup playoff series. They'll try to remedy that Tuesday at Nationwide Arena.

"These fans deserve us getting the job done here at home," Blue Jackets forward Matt Duchene, who scored the opening goal, told NHL.com. "It's been a long time coming for this team."

Oliver Bjorkstrand and Cam Atkinson also scored for Columbus, and goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky made 30 saves. Tampa Bay's lone goal was by Ondrej Palat; goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy made 27 saves.

"They threw the kitchen sink at us in the third period and (Bobrovsky) was big for us," Duchene said. "We did just enough to give up only one goal."

Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella cautioned the series isn't over.

"I'm happy about the way we've gone about our business," Tortorella said. "We have a lot of work to do. We've got to be really careful here."

--Field Level Media

Updated April 16, 2019

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