Tampa Bay Lightning open Stanley Cup playoffs, Host Columbus in Game 1

14 April, 2019, 04:34 | Author: Isabel Grant
  • Stamkos: Lightning 'learned a lesson' after coughing up 3-goal lead

Columbus, 28th in the National Hockey League on the power play during the regular season, converted two of four chances and is 3 for 6 overall. A case could be made neither should be starting for their team.

As always, you can send your love/hate tweets to me on Twitter @fuzzychris91.

Tampa Bay's top-ranked power-play unit has failed in all five opportunities in in the series. Defensively, the Columbus Blue Jackets are allowing three goals per game and are killing 100 percent of their opponents power plays.

What's odd is the Lightning are a team who have had recent postseason success. Be first in line to compete from the pond to the pros, unlocking the full game three days early on September 11, 2018 when you pre-order the NHL19 Legends Edition and NHL19 Ultimate Edition! They just go to another level. Led by John Tavares' 47 goals and followed by Auston Matthews' 37, this team has no problem shooting the puck. Their defence is also part of the problem. A year ago the Bruins bested Toronto in the first round and that's where they'll meet up once again.

Toronto will still give Boston a run for their money.

After the game, they shared their thoughts on the veteran defenseman. Add in Mitch Marner and an effective William Nylander, and you have yourself a lot of scoring power.

Despite all the mumbling as the regular season expired, there's really no reason to change the playoff format. I think the Canes might steal a home game win so that's why I'm going with Capitals in five.

Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is Saturday night in Nashville. Yes, that Brooks Orpik - he of two goals during the regular season.

The Tampa Bay Lightning faced little adversity in the regular season on the way to a record-tying 62 wins and the most points in a season in 23 years.

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Mike Smith turned in a 26-save shutout on Thursday night as the Flames topped the Avalanche 4-0 in Game 1 of their first-round series as -200 home betting favorites.

The real question mark is- Who is starting for the Hurricanes? We'll just see how our response is tomorrow. He finished the season with a 2.39 GAA and a.917 SV%.

Over/under: We'll go for a second straight OVER to start this Western Conference Quarterfinal. "Just the grind of the game".

The Capitals do have some work to do if they want to get past Carolina. The Bruins have the second best PPP in the playoffs at 25.9 percent but the Leafs have some serious goal scorers. The Vezina Trophy hopeful went 39-10-4 with a.925 SV% and six shutouts on the season.

Brett Pesce lost his stick earlier in that shift and I'm not entirely sure what he was doing on the final sequence, but it appears he forced Mrazek deep in his own net before then proceeding to screen him on the game-winner. They are the defending champions, so they know exactly what needs to be done to win.

Things won't get easier for them either.

All season, people have been waiting for the Islanders to come back down to earth a be a bad hockey team. While speaking to Pierre McGuire, Orpik deflected credit on the goal, instead praising Evgeny Kuznetsov, who tallied the primary assist on the play. They're the play to cover +1.5 at -240.

Bobrovsky stopped four shots over the final 40 seconds of the second, including a nifty glove save on Steven Stamkos. In addition, Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby are still elite players with good role players to help. Let's not forget that they also have to deal with Phil Kessel, Jake Guentzel and Kris Letang. The Caps made quick work of both the Carolina Hurricanes and New York Islanders in the first two rounds, but could not hold off the relentless attack of the Lightning in round 3. He is the key to the Penguins making it to the next round.

The Islanders are a stingy defensive team and allowed the fewest goals against in the entire league (196), which could work to their benefit. Then the Capitals won four in a row to take the series. They're a high-end 5v5 team, elite on the power play, elite on the penalty kill, and they have a Vezina-caliber goaltender.

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