Tampa and Columbus resume their war on Sunday.
The Blue Jackets lead the series 1-0 after a 4-3 win in game one.
They rallied back from a 3-0 first period deficit with a goal in the second and three in the third to win it. Seth Jones scored the game-winner. Tampa has had strong regular seasons in the past, including just previous year with numerous same pieces. At Amalie Arena, the winningest hockey team since the 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings prepared to erase the memory of a sterling regular season (62 wins, 128 points) and begin a second season that could go on for two-and-a-half more months. They have the depth and talent to do it again with the likes of P.K. Subban, Ryan Johansen, Roman Josi and Filip Forseberg, again all guys that have been here before and know how to get things done.
Midway through the third period, the house started to collapse for Tampa Bay when the Blue Jackets' David Savard cut the lead to 3-2 on a turnover in the Lightning zone as he went unassisted at 7:56.
Grabbing the win was Sergei Bobrovsky, who stopped 26 of the 29 shots that he faced in the game. "So, even when we were down 3-0, I don't think we got away as far as how we have to play".
Werenski made it 2-0 from the blue line after Duchene won a faceoff during a power play at 11:44 of the first. Defensively, the Columbus Blue Jackets are allowing three goals per game and are killing 100 percent of their opponents power plays. NY was 18th on the penalty kill this season (79.9%), while the Penguins finished 5th on the power play (24.6%).
The Columbus Blue Jackets rebounded from a dismal start to stun the team that had the NHL's best regular-season record.
The Rangers are one of three teams to win three Presidents' Trophies. The NHL odds for Game 2 have them at -245 again, nearly assuredly they will not have the same kind of support.
Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov, who led the National Hockey League with 128 points, was held off the scoresheet for the second consecutive game and picked up tripping, boarding and 10-minute misconduct penalties late in the third period. After a historic regular season, the Tampa Bay Lightning are on the verge of being remembered as a massive disappointment rather than as champions. We shall see. Scoring in the loss was Alex Killorn, which was his 19th of the year, Anthony Cirelli, which was his 20th, and Yanni Gourde, which was his 23rd. Lead by Brent Burns' 83 points, 16 goals and 67 assists, (most points by a defenseman) and Tomas Hertl's 35 goals and 39 assists, this team knows what they are doing.
The Lightning boasted a 31-1-2 record during the regular season when leading after the first period. Columbus is 8-1 in its last nine games overall. In his career, he has gone 15-12 with a 2.73 GAA in the postseason. The Lightning is 22-3 after allowing four or more goals and 25-11 when trailing in a series. During the regular season, the Lightning ranked 1st in power play conversions at 28.2% and 1st in penalty kill at 85.0%. I'll take Marc-Andre Fleury over either of them without thinking twice, and that could very well be the difference in series where both teams are strong at 5v5.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Rookie Miro Heiskanen scored two goals in his first postseason game, and the Dallas Stars beat the Predators in Game 1 of their first-round Western Conference series. Tampa Bay will get another shot to even the score when they host Game 2 on Friday night.