Josh Anderson leads the Blue Jackets with a plus-25 in 82 games played this season. Tampa Bay, the Presidents' Trophy victor during the regular season, was a -145 favorite on Sunday in the UNDER result on the totals.
The first-round series was supposed to be short and sweet.
The game was scoreless through the opening 20 minutes before Matt Duchene gave the Blue Jackets the lead 1:44 into the 2nd period. After the first two periods San Jose had 15 shots on net from the slot, but Fleury's brilliance throughout the game was the difference.
It all came so easily for Tampa Bay - until it didn't.
Steven Stamkos has recorded 98 total points while scoring 45 goals and totaling 53 assists for the Lightning.
The Russian goalie shut the door when the Tampa Bay Lightning made a desperate late surge on Sunday night, preserving a 3-1 win and giving Columbus a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarterfinal against the NHL's best team. Tampa Bay became the first team in the expansion era, which began in 1967-68, to go winless in the first round of the playoffs after leading the league in points during the regular season. "That's the way we want to play". It was likely not the ending most others imagined for the Lightning either.
Somehow making it even worse for the Lightning, this was the first playoff series win for the Blue Jackets in franchise history.
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The Penguins did their best to stay loose while trying to avoid getting swept in the first round for the second time in franchise history. Pittsburgh managed just six goals in the series, including Jake Guentzel's first of the post-season 35 seconds into the game.
The 2010 Washington Capitals lost in the first round after winning the Presidents' Trophy, but they at least pushed their series with the Montreal Canadiens to Game 7. The Penguins wouldn't go without a fight, at least not Patric Hornqvist who chose to trade jabs with red-hot goalie Robin Lehner. It was a season for the ages and everyone was excited to see how the team would do. Great power-play player, great offensive talent, great playmaker. Winnipeg responded a few minutes later when Kyle Connor found Mark Scheifele crashing the net with a ideal feed that Scheifele tipped past Jordan Binnington.
Game 5 is Thursday night back in Winnipeg.
It was yet another tough start for Martin Jones when Vegas scored early and set the tone for a commanding shutout win. But they beat the Hawks 4-2, and went on to play the Celtics in the NBA Finals.
Tampa Bay is 48-16 in their last 64 games overall and 41-17 in their last 58 road games while the over is 7-2 in their last 9 games against the Metropolitan division.
A major contributing factor to the Lightning's downfall was how easily they let their frustrations manifest into unnecessary penalties.
The night was satisfying for Bobrovsky - he hasn't been great in the playoffs the last two seasons - and the Blue Jackets, who were 2-8 at Nationwide Arena in three previous postseason appearances.