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2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs Round One Game Three Preview: Columbus looks to take series lead against Tampa Bay

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Here’s what you need to know.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Columbus Blue Jackets at Tampa Bay Lightning Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Lightning at Columbus Blue Jackets
Saturday, August 15, 2020 - 7:30 PM EST
Scotiabank Arena - Toronto, Ontario
TV: Fox Sports Ohio, NBCSN - Radio: WBNS FM
Opponent’s Blog: Raw Charge

Tampa Bay Lightning, (43-21-6, 92 points, 2nd Atlantic, 2nd East)
@
Columbus Blue Jackets, (33-22-15, 81 points, 6th Metro, 9th East)

Less than 48 hours after the Columbus Blue Jackets fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning in their marathon, fourth-longest game in NHL history, the teams hit the ice for game two of their series. This time, fortunes favored the Jackets as Ryan Murray and Alexander Wennberg surprised on the scoresheet, Pierre-Luc Dubois netted two assists, and the Jackets ended the game in regulation and leveled the series.

Tonight, the teams square off in game three and the Jackets will look to take their first lead in the series.

The Jackets are doing this on the back out of outstanding goaltending by Joonas Korpisalo, a goaltender who has decided to channel the spirits of prime Dominik Hasek and 2003 Jean-Sebastien Giguere simultaneously.

After a chippy affair on Tuesday, look for the post-whistle fireworks to continue - these teams very clearly do not like one another. Columbus will need to maintain their composure and patience to come out of this one with a victory.

Player to Watch

Oliver Bjorkstrand

Oliver Bjorkstrand had a less-than-stellar series against the Toronto Maple Leafs, but he has come to life against the Lightning. Bjorkstrand has two goals in two games against the Lightning and has largely looked just as dangerous as he did in the regular season. Bjorkstrand must be a goal scoring threat for Columbus to continue winning games in this series.

Jackets Notes

With Elvis Merzlikins still unfit to play and out for an indefinite period of time, Veini Vehvilainen has joined the team in the bubble and is currently undergoing quarantine protocols ... By not signing Carson Meyer by 5 PM today, the team will forfeit his signing rights, according to CapFriendly ... Lightning head coach Jon Cooper thinks (rightfully) that Seth Jones should be in the conversation as a Norris Trophy finalist

The Other Bench

Lightning head coach Jon Cooper was asked for an update on captain Steven Stamkos, and offered that “he is rehabbing” ... Blake Coleman emphasized the Lightning’s need to go to the net and look for rebounds to take leads in the series ... Alex Killorn talked about how the Lightning are off a little bit in this series: “I don’t know if it’s because we had taken a couple months off (pandemic pause), but it’s two inches there, two inches there and it could be two goals.”

Playoff Series

08/11/2020 CBJ 2 @ TBL 3 (5OT)
08/13/2020 CBJ 3 @ TBL 1
08/15/2020 TBL @ CBJ
08/17/2020 TBL @ CBJ
08/19/2020 CBJ @TBL
08/21/2020 TBL @ CBJ (if needed)
08/22/2020 CBJ @ TBL (if needed)

Stats

Tampa Bay Columbus
2.00 (18) GPG 2.43 (13)
2.60 (12) GAPG 2.00 (6)
18.2% (10) PP% 9.1% (21)
84.2% (8) PK% 89.5% (4)
58.24% (1) 5v5 Shot Attempt % 43.59% (23)
56.36% (4) 5v5 Unblocked shot attempt % 44.58% (20)
4.42 (19) 5v5 Shot % 6.22 (14)
.940 (9) 5v5 Save % .973 (2)
Brayden Point, 3 G Leader Pierre-Luc Dubois, 4
Nikita Kucherov, Brayden Point 3 A Leader Pierre-Luc Dubois, Alexandre Texier, 4
Brayden Point, 6 P Leader Perre-Luc Dubois, 8
Blake Coleman, 11 PIM Leader Nick Foligno, 10

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
Alexandre Texier Pierre-Luc Dubois Oliver Bjorkstrand
Gustav Nyquist Boone Jenner Nick Foligno
Liam Foudy Alexander Wennberg Riley Nash
Eric Robinson Devin Shore Emil Bemstrom
Zach Werenski Seth Jones
Vladislav Gavrikov David Savard
Ryan Murray Dean Kukan
Joonas Korpisalo
Matiss Kivlenieks
Tampa Bay Lightning
Ondrej Palat Brayden Point Nikita Kucherov
Alex Killorn Anthony Cirelli Tyler Johnson
Barclay Goodrow Yanni Gourde Blake Coleman
Patrick Maroon Mitchell Stephens Cedric Paquette
Victor Hedman Zach Bogosian
Ryan McDonagh Erik Cernak
Mikhail Sergachev Kevin Shattenkirk
Andrei Vasilevskiy
Curtis McElhinney