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SportOpinion: Lightning heading toward an all-time playoff implosion down 3-0 to Blue Jackets

07:05  15 april  2019
07:05  15 april  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

Blue Jackets stunningly sweep Lightning out

Blue Jackets stunningly sweep Lightning out Blue Jackets stunningly sweep Lightning out

Two of the Blue Jackets ’ three goals have come on the power play , including Matt Duchene’s score at the 1:28 mark of the second period. The Lightning has been outshot 17-13 tonight. The Lightning has come back from a 2- 0 deficit to win a playoff series just once in the team’s history, beating the

This is the Lightning , 128 points, all those records, lurching toward what would go down as one of the great upsets (gags) in NHL history. Yes, the Lightning can come back. Tampa Bay did against Washington last playoffs , winning Games 3 Lightning down 3 - 0 to Blue Jackets after two periods.

Opinion: Lightning heading toward an all-time playoff implosion down 3-0 to Blue Jackets© Provided by USA Today Sports Media Group LLC Columbus Blue Jackets center Matt Duchene celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 3. The Stanley Cup favorite Tampa Bay Lightning are on the verge of one of the worst implosions in pro sports history.

The Lightning tied an NHL record with 62 regular-season wins and they may not win a single playoff game.

The Columbus Blue Jackets, who finished 30 points behind the Lightning, beat them 3-1 Sunday to take a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarterfinal. The Blue Jackets can finish a sweep of the Lightning on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET, CNBC).

Hedman absence compounds Lightning problems

Hedman absence compounds Lightning problems Lightning already without Nikita Kucherov due to suspension.

The Lightning looked out of synch early, struggling to possess the puck throughout a first half that was a physical one. Columbus scored off the ensuing face off when Zach Werenski sent a wrister from the blue line through traffic and past Lightning down 3 - 0 to Blue Jackets after two periods.

Opinion . Arts & Entertainment. This could be the last time Bolts Nation sees this team and there wasn’t much well-wishing in the send off . The Lightning team fans have loved all year was missing in Friday’s 5-1 loss. Lightning down 3 - 0 to Blue Jackets after two periods.

How unlikely is this?  The Lightning were the NHL's top scoring team, boasted the league's best power play and penalty kill and had defeated the Blue Jackets three times in the regular season by a cumulative 17-3 score.

Columbus also entered this postseason having never won a playoff series in the franchise's 18-season existence.

Opinion: Three NHL teams adding new players, potential difference makers in playoffs

More: Where have the Lightning's scorers gone?

If the Lightning lose Tuesday, this will be like the Green Bay Packers going 15-1 in 2011 and then losing by 17 points to the New York Giants in their first playoff game. Or, the 1990-91 Minnesota North Stars, which went just 27-39-14, beating the Presidents' Trophy-winning Chicago Blackhawks in the opening round. Or, the 42-40 Golden State Warriors' upset over the 67-win Dallas Mavericks in 2007.

Blue Jackets stun Lightning 5-1 to take 2-0 series lead

Blue Jackets stun Lightning 5-1 to take 2-0 series lead TAMPA, Fla. — Matt Duchene had a goal and three assists, Sergei Bobrovsky made 23 saves, and the Columbus Blue Jackets stunned the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-1 on Friday night to take a 2-0 first-round series lead.Columbus also got goals from Cam Atkinson, Zach Werenski, Riley Nash and Artemi Panarin. The Blue Jackets started the postseason last season by winning the first two games of the first-round series with eventual Stanley Cup Washington, which won the next four games. BOX SCORE: BLUE JACKETS 5, LIGHTNING 1 Mikhail Sergachev had a goal and Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 22 shots for the Lightning, who lost two games in a row just twice in the regular season.

The Blue Jackets ' playoff success it boosted in building confidence in the unit. Defenseman Seth Jones scored the game-winner inside the final six minutes of Game 1, a rocket through traffic that marked Columbus' fourth straight goal. Lightning down 3 - 0 to Blue Jackets after two periods.

The Lightning team fans have loved all year was missing in Friday’s 5-1 loss. It showed up in the third period, but with too little too late. Depth scoring has carried this team all season – and it’s true that depth is key in the playoffs – but the stars Lightning down 3 - 0 to Blue Jackets after two periods.

This is why the massive upset is on the brink of happening:

► The Blue Jackets have elevated their game to a much higher level than they showed for much of the regular season. They have been hard to play against, denying time and space to Tampa Bay scorers. Columbus gave us a glimpse of this at the end of the season when it went 7-3-0 in the last 10.

► Among the players to elevate their game for the Blue Jackets is trade deadline acquisition Matt Duchene. He has two goals and five points in this series, and has been strong on faceoffs.

► Tampa Bay's best players haven't produced. Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov, Brayden Point and Tyler Johnson, who combined for 156 goals, have no goals in the series. Johnson has the only point, an assist earned Sunday. The Lightning haven't played like the Lightning. Kucherov got himself suspended by the league for Game 3 for a boarding incident in Game 2.

Blue Jackets rally from 3-goal deficit to beat Lightning 4-3

Blue Jackets rally from 3-goal deficit to beat Lightning 4-3 Seth Jones scored the go-ahead goal on the power play to cap Columbus' three-goal third period, and the Blue Jackets rallied to beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 in Game 1 of the teams' first-round Eastern Conference playoff series. Jones made it 4-3 from the slot with 5:55 to play as the Blues Jackets erased a 3-0 deficit after the Lightning scored three times in the opening period. David Savard, Josh Anderson and Nick Foligno had the other goals for Columbus.

TAMPA, Fla. — The Columbus Blue Jackets are making a serious bid to knock the team with the best regular-season record out of the playoffs . Matt Duchene had a goal and three assists, Sergei Bobrovsky made 23 saves

Opinion . Please read the rules before joining the discussion. Blue Jackets stun Lightning with 3rd-period comeback. Jones made it 4-3 from the slot with 5:55 to play as the Blues Jackets erased a 3 - 0 deficit after the Lightning scored three times in the opening period.

► Coach John Tortorella has the Blue Jackets fired up. When he's motivating his teams in the playoffs, he brings the intensity. He demanded excellence from these Blue Jackets and they have given it to the Lightning.

► The Blue Jackets have stayed disciplined. They only gave the Lightning one power play opportunity in Game 3. The Lightning don't have a power play goal in the series.

► Columbus' power play, meanwhile, has found its form. After ranking 28th percentage-wise in the regular season, the Blue Jackets have gone 4-for-8 with the extra man in the series.

Opinion: Lightning heading toward an all-time playoff implosion down 3-0 to Blue Jackets

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Opinion: Lightning heading toward an all-time playoff implosion down 3-0 to Blue Jackets

How we screwed up in picking the Lightning to win the Stanley Cup.
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