Tampa Bay Lightning at Columbus Blue Jackets
|Date & Time||Tuesday April 16, 2019, 7:00 PM (EDT)|
Columbus Blue Jackets +123 / Tampa Bay Lightning -136
SN360, TVA, CNBC, FS-Ohio, SunSports
The Tampa Bay Lightning and the Columbus Blue Jackets meet in game four of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series from the Nationwide Arena on Tuesday night.
The Columbus Blue Jackets will look to stun the hockey world and win their first playoff series in franchise history at the expense of the best team in the NHL this season, taking a 3-0 series lead over the Lightning with a 3-1 win on Sunday.
The game was scoreless through the opening 20 minutes before Matt Duchene gave the Blue Jackets the lead 1:44 into the 2nd period. Oliver Bjorkstrand doubled Columbus’ advantage less than seven minutes later and Columbus would ride that cushion into the 3rd period.
Ondrej Palat cut the deficit in half less than five minutes into the final frame and would come close down the stretch, firing 17 shots on goal in the 3rd period, but Cam Atkinson would bury an empty-netter with a minute to go to seal the deal and secure the victory for the Blue Jackets.
Sergei Bobrovsky got the win to improve his record to 3-0-0 this season after stopping 30 of 31 shots faced in the victory for Columbus while Andrei Vasilevskiy ended up with the L, falling to 0-3-0 after allowing two goals on 29 shots faced in the losing effort.
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. Columbus is 10-1 in their last 11 games overall and 6-1 in their last 7 home games while the under is 16-7 in their last 23 games against the Eastern Conference. Tampa Bay is 6-2 in the last 8 meetings between these two teams in Columbus.
The common perception is that Tampa Bay is too good of a team to just bow out in four games after finishing the regular season with the best record in the league and the Lightning are bound to win one here as Columbus at worst has four more chances to win one game to advance. However, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, outside of the first period in game one, the Blue Jackets have arguably been the better team for the other 8 periods in this series. We’ve cashed three times with the Blue Jackets as underdogs and this line is giving no respect to what Columbus has done so far. I think Tampa should be favored, but the line shouldn’t be this big. I like Columbus regardless to pull off the sweep and advance to the conference semifinals.