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Sweep! NHL-best Lightning ousted in record speed by Columbus Blue Jackets

17 April, 2019, 13:29 | Author: Heidi Alvarez
  • 2019 Lightning overtake 2012 Canucks for the worst playoff result for a Presidents' Trophy winner

That's one way to look at them.

The Columbus Blue Jackets capped a stunning sweep of the Presidents' Trophy winners with a 7-3 victory Tuesday night. He amassed 41 goals and 51 assists for a total of 92 points in 79 games played during the regular season.

Islanders 3, Penguins 1 - Jordan Eberle scored for the fourth straight game, Robin Lehner stopped 32 shots, and NY finished off Sidney Crosby and Pittsburgh at home for a stunning sweep. They weren't just winning - they were crushing opponents. "It's great. It gives you more energy when you win". What happened to you, Brayden Point? It's not an excuse.

Cooper added Tuesday that Anton Stralman will also miss Game 4. "We're excited about the opportunity we've given ourselves but we know it's going to be the hardest game of the series".

Indeed, the Lightning made history in the 2019 playoffs - just not the kind any coach would want.

Favored Tampa Bay has dropped three consecutive games against Columbus, the first time the team has lost three games in a row all season long.

Before the Canucks' 5-game loss to the Kings, who went on to win the Stanley Cup, no Presidents' Trophy victor had ever lost in the first round in five games. "It sucks", Tampa Bay captain Steven Stamkos said.

Sergei Bobrovsky has the Columbus Blue Jackets on the brink of sweeping a playoff series that hardly anyone thought they could win. The Jackets had 30 takeaways in four games, while Tampa Bay had 21. "The last time we played here, we had a 5-1 lead, and they had completely outplayed us. We have to keep going".

Twelve Blue Jackets scored in the series, but Bobrovsky, who had struggled in three previous playoff series with Columbus, was the star. Even when the Lightning broke through the Columbus defense, Bobrovsky made key saves.

Here are three reasons why the Blue Jackets are advancing, while the Lightning will spend their summer wondering what went awry.

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Perhaps the biggest disparity was on special teams. The Lightning had the most effective power play since 1988-89 in the regular season, at 28.1 percent.

"Yeah, it sucks", said Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov, who had 128 points in the regular season but was kept off the scoresheet until Tuesday night.

The Islanders are also on the verge of a first-round sweep, getting past the Penguins 4-1 in Game 3 of their best-of-seven series on Sunday afternoon as +170 underdogs on the National Hockey League odds. But it's one thing to say it, and it's another to execute. They executed a detailed game plan to slow us down, and we didn't have a response to it. You have to give them some credit.

"Since they put me, [Barzal], and [Lee] together the puck has been going in a lot more. We just didn't have an answer". Columbus is 10-1 in their last 11 games overall and 6-1 in their last 7 home games while the under is 16-7 in their last 23 games against the Eastern Conference.

Tampa dropped a tight opener 4-3 after Columbus clawed their way back from being down 3-0. "It's amusing: We're expected to go far this year, and we go nowhere".

"It's hard to win in this league". It's tough not to be holding up the Stanley Cup at the end, but how many teams have gone through this? "They had two remarkable years and got bounced in the second round, and the year no one expected them to do anything, they won the Stanley Cup".

If the Lightning can get back to working like the well-oiled machine they were in the regular season, the Bolts will be able to fight back and prove they're still the team to beat in the postseason.

"We couldn't find our game".

Penguins defenceman Kris Letang whiffed while trying to pinch into the NY zone, creating a two-on-one the other way that Eberle finished to even it at 1 just 1:34 after Guentzel had put Pittsburgh in front.


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