Tampa Bay Lightning open Stanley Cup playoffs, Host Columbus in Game 1

2019 NHL playoff preview Lightning vs. Blue Jackets

2019 NHL playoff preview Lightning vs. Blue Jackets

While some fans eventually walked down the Tampa Riverwalk to cheer the Tampa Bay Lightning on in person, others stayed at The Curt to watch the Bolts squander a three-goal, first period lead en route to losing their series opener, 4-3, against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Lightning took a 3-0 lead into the first intermission only to have the Blue Jackets storm back with four unanswered goals to steal the game.

Vegas struggled to generate much of anything, putting just 10 shots on goal in the first two periods before applying more pressure in the third when it was too late to help. Overall, they have the best power play percentage at 28.2 percent. Tampa Bay had swept Columbus 3-0 in regular season games and it seemed as if they were about to do the same exact thing in Wednesday nights game.

By the end of the Stanley Cup playoffs, the focus will turn to the NHL's superstars. The Bruins won the season series this year 3-1.

Matt Duchene and Pierre-Luc Dubois combined to go minus-3 in game one, and did not register a point.

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -Barry Trotz is very familiar with the situation the Pittsburgh Penguins face being down 0-2 in their Round 1 series against the New York Islanders. He was 0-2 with a 6.67 GAA against the Bolts this year, while in his career (regular season), he has gone 5-6 with a 3.44 GAA against them. That's why they play the games. Let's just say that with one game left, three teams could have won the division; it was that close.

The latest National Hockey League odds have the Predators as -155 home favorites and even with the loss they have won 10 of 13 first round playoff encounters and they bring the intensity and knot this series at 1-1. They made it to the finals in 2017 but lost to the Penguins. "I'm not anxious about our team, how they handle things". It's been a rollercoaster of a year for the Blues, including blowing two and three-goal leads to Ryan O'Reilly's insane overtime goals.

Anderson then brought the Blue Jackets level with a shorthanded effort, gliding around Victor Hedman to beat Vasilevskiy for 3-3.

Columbus proved Wednesday why they are a better road team than home team. There's a good chance that we see Petr Mrazek get the start in game one for Carolina. He's played in two Stanley Cup Finals and has been through many roller coaster series. They match up against the second wildcard Avalanche. Lead by Nathan MacKinnon's 99 points and 41 goals alongside 22-year-old Mikko Rantanen's 31 goals and 56 assists and you can see why this offense is no joke. Add in Logan Couture, Timo Meier, Joe Pavelski, Evander Kane, Joe Thornton and Erik Karlsson and this team has some serious depth.

If this doesn't happen, the Bruins will fall to 1-6 as a playoff favorite and we think they will.

Boldly picking the Toronto Maple Leafs to win the Stanley Cup in October, the video game giant must have been high on the John Tavares free agent signing.

Through his vast National Hockey League experience, Trotz will have them ready because his team will be facing a Penguins roster desperate to get back into the series and avoid an 0-3 hole. The Penguins come in as one of the top offensive teams in the league going up against the Islanders, who allowed the fewest goals on the season.

That's the case for Carolina defenseman Calvin de Haan, who practiced Friday after missing the past six games with an upper-body injury.

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