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2019 Playoffs Game 2 Preview: Blue Jackets look to strike lighting twice

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The Columbus Blue Jackets shocked the world in their come-from-behind Game 1 winner Wednesday night, taking a 1-0 series lead over the heavily favorite Tampa Bay Lightning. Now’s the time for the Jackets to get greedy.

Columbus Blue Jackes v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images

Friday, April 12, 2019 - 7:00 EST
Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida
TV: CNBC, Fox Sports Ohio; Radio: 97.1 FM
Opponent’s Blog: Raw Charge

Columbus Blue Jackets (47-31-4, 98 points, 5th Metro, 8th East)

at

Tampa Bay Lightning (62-16-4, 128 points, 1st Atlantic, 1st East)

Columbus leads series 1-0

After literally shocking the world Wednesday night, it’s back to business Friday night from Amalie Arena as the Columbus Blue Jackets look to add to their best-of-seven series lead as they take on the Tampa Bay Lightning for Game 2.

Things looked as expected inside the first 20 minutes during Game 1, as the Lightning, a team that dominated its way to an historical 62 wins and the Presidents Trophy, jumped out to what most would figure to be an insurmountable 3-0 lead. But as we saw, the Blue Jackets shook off their first period jitters, Sergei Bobrovsky closed out the final 40 minutes with 16-consecutive saves, and the Blue Jackets completed their comeback with three third period goals to pull off the Game 1 stunner, 4-3, and head into tonight’s affair looking to increase the lead to two games.

Also be sure to check out our Pale Dragon’s Q&A exchange with Raw Charge.

Player to Watch

We said it for Game 1 and I’ll say it again, Sergei Bobrovsky. Though it looked like “Playoff Bob” had returned in the first period, he also didn’t have much support early ... from anyone. The Seth Jones turnover that led to the short-handed breakaway goal for Tampa is hard to pin on Bobrovsky. You can put some blame on the net-minder for the last two goals, including a rebound for goal No. 2 and the third goal that beat Bobrovsky glove side, albeit a deflection in front that played a part.

But Bobrovsky, and the rest of the team, buckled down and rewrote the script. It was just like they got some of Michael’s Secret Stuff.

Bobrovsky has allowed at least three goals in 20 of 21 career playoff starts with Philadelphia and Columbus. He only allowed two goals in a 50 save performance for Columbus against Pittsburgh in 2014, a 3-1 Game 5 loss.

After Wednesday’s win, Bobrovsky improves his playoff career totals to 6-14, 3.47 GAA, .891 SV%. As was mentioned on last Monday’s podcast episode, and as Ryan Real said in his goaltender preview, Bobrovsky will be the reason why the Jackets will have any success in this series. He must rise to the occasion as he did over the last 40 minutes for this team to have any chance in Game 2, and the rest of the series.

Jackets Notes

With their Game 1 victory, the Blue Jackets earned their franchise first road playoff win in regulation. ... The Blue Jackets became the sixth team in NHL history to win against a No. 1 seed after trailing by at least three goals. ... Overcoming the three goal deficit to win is the fifth multi-goal Blue Jackets playoff win all-time. ... Prior to the start of the playoffs, the Blue Jackets were 2-23-1 when trailing after two periods. ... The Lightning were 31-1-2 when leading after one period, 39-2-2 when leading after two periods. ... Seth Jones’ goal, on the power play, was his first playoffs game-winning goal. ... The Lightning had the No. 1 power play during the regular season (28.2%), but came up empty, 0-for-3 in Game 1, against one of the best penalty killing units in Columbus. ... The Jackets and Lightning finished tied-for-first on the penalty kill during the regular season (85.0%). ... Adam Clendening was assigned to the Monsters on Thursday.

The Other Bench

A juggernaut against the Blue Jackets — Lightning outscored the Blue Jackets 17-3 in the three-game regular season sweep — and all season against the rest of the league, it sure looked like things were going to get ugly early-on, and fast. And it did as the Lightning led 3-0 after the first period.

Then something happened.

The Blue Jackets started playing with more urgency and looking more confident in the process. Now the true test will come in Game 2, as the Blue Jackets must anticipate just what the Lightning will throw at them as they look to even the series before taking the show on the road to Nationwide Arena. Columbus has to know a mad team will be looking to intensify their urgency, as head coach Jon Cooper said, “Our biggest obstacle was ourselves.”

What they said

Defenseman Cameron Gaunce was re-assigned to the Syracuse Crunch Thursday. Anton Stralman missed Game 1 as he recovers from a lower-body injury. He’s said to be making progress but we will see when he gets a crack back into the lineup.

Season Series

10/13/2018 CBJ 2 @ TBL 8
01/08/2019 CBJ 0 @ TBL 4
02/18/2019 TBL 5 @ CBJ 1

04/10/2019 CBJ 4 @ TBL 3
04/12/2019 CBJ @ TBL
04/14/2019 TBL @ CBJ
04/16/2019 TBL @ CBJ
04/19/2019 CBJ @ TBL (if necessary)
04/21/2019 TBL @ CBJ (if necessary)
04/23/2019 CBJ @ TBL (if necessary)

Stats

Tampa Bay Columbus
3.00 (t-7) GPG 4.00 (t-2)
4.00 (t-11) GAPG 3.00 (t-8)
0.00% (t-10) PP% 50.0% (t-1)
50.0% (t-13) PK% 100.0% (t-1)
48.19% (10) EV Corsi % 51.81% (7)
99.3 (12) EV PDO 100.8 (5)

Anthony Cirelli,
Yanni Gourde,
Alex Killorn,
1

G Leader Josh Anderson,
Nick Foligno,
Seth Jones,
David Savard,
1

Erik Cernak,
J.T. Miller,
Jan Rutta,
Mikhail Sergachev,
1

A Leader

Josh Anderson,
Artemi Panarin,
Boone Jenner,
Zach Werenski,
1

Erik Cernak,
Anthony Cirelli,
Yanni Gourde,
Alex Killorn,
J.T. Miller,
Jan Rutta,
Mikhail Sergachev,
1

P Leader Josh Anderson, 2
Dan Girardi, 4 PIM Leader Brandon Dubinsky 6

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets

Artemi Panarin Pierre-Luc Dubois Cam Atkinson
Ryan Dzingel Matt Duchene Josh Anderson
Alexandre Texier Nick Foligno

Oliver Bjorkstrand

Riley
Nash
Boone Jenner Brandon Dubinsky
Zach Werenski Seth Jones
Markus Nutivaara David Savard
Scott Harrington Dean Kukan
Sergei Bobrovsky
Joonas Korpisalo

Tampa Bay Lightning

Ondrej Palat Steven Stamkos

Tyler Johnson

Yanni Gourde Brayden Point Nikita Kucherov
Alex Killorn Anthony Cirelli J.T.
Miller
Adam Erne Cedric Paquette

Mathieu Joseph

Victor Hedman Dan Girardi
Ryan McDonagh Erik Cernak
Mikhail Sergachev Jan Rutta
Andrei Vasilevskiy
Louis Domingue