An incredible regular season has all gone down in flames for the Tampa Bay Lightning.
After compiling the best record in the league during the regular season, Tampa Bay was quickly and rudely bounced from the Stanley Cup playoffs by the Columbus Blue Jackets. Columbus completes the stunning sweep of the Lightning in the first round of the playoffs with a 7-3 home ice win on Tuesday. The Tampa Bay Lightning are now the first team in NHL history to win the Presidents’ Trophy and get swept in the first round of the playoffs.
After going a season only losing 16 games, the Lightning were completely controlled by the Blue Jackets the entire series. The Blue Jackets started the series in Game 1 down 3-0 but came back to win 4-3, the start of the shocking series.
Game 2 got the Blue Jackets halfway to their series win. The Lightning went scoreless in the first two periods with their first goal from Mikhali Sergachev coming five minutes into the third period. A dominating game by Columbus having two power plays’ while Tampa Bay had zero. A 5-1 victory for Columbus.
Taking the series to Columbus, the Blue Jackets got a 2-0 lead to start Game 3. Both teams went scoreless in the first period with the Lightning having only three shots on goal. Columbus goalie Sergie Bobrovsky finished with 30 saves, 16 in the final period. The Blue Jackets came up on top 3-1.
The final game of the series left Lightning fans with some hope during the second period with a 3-3 tie game. Brayden Point was able to put up his first goal of the series during a power play. However, a quick goal response from Oliver Bjorkstrand sent the Blue Jackets on their way to victory. The Lightning went scoreless in the final period with the Blue Jackets putting up three goals on their way to the 7-3 victory and a series sweep.
Lightning coach Jon Cooper gives his take on the sweep.
“When you get to the playoffs you gotta remember half the teams are out so everybody in the playoffs is good. They’ve earned their way here. So in today’s game with the parody, it’s not unusual that an eight beats one anymore. Everybody’s that close, we just couldn’t find our game that was it.”
Congrats on an incredibly special series win for your organization, @bluejacketsnhl. You earned it.
Good luck the rest of the way. pic.twitter.com/9eBqdBNzKo
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) April 17, 2019