The Tampa Bay Lightning have been next to unstoppable this season. In the regular season the team had a record 62-16-4 with a total of 128 points. They had 319 goals for (1st in NHL) and 221 goals against (8th in NHL). The Lightning have come to the cusp of winning the Cup so many time that it seemed like this season the team was going to fly through playoffs with whirlwind speed.
Two games into the playoffs, the Lightning are 0-2 against the Columbus Blue Jackets. During the regular season, the Lightning took out the Blue Jackets, with big margins, in all 3 games they faced one another. Now, the Lightning can’t keep their legs under them. All 3 games did come before the trade deadline where Columbus acquired Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzingel but the Lightning have been falling by large numbers in these first two.
In Game 1, the Lightning put up 3 goals in the 1st period and maintained the lead until 12 minutes into the 3rd, where the Blue Jackets scores their 3rd goal to tie the game. Seth Jones ended up scoring in the power play 2 minutes later that game the Blue Jackets the lead and not long after the victory. It was a rough look for the Lightning but that was still just game 1.
Going into Game 2 the Lightning knew that they had to bring big points to secure a win. In the end, the team fell 1-5 to the Blue Jackets.
The Lightning have began “pulling a Leaf” in this playoff series. It’s going to be interesting to watch if Paul Bissonnette was right that the Lightning “peaked too early” and will fall out of the playoffs quick. This next game is going to be vital for their Stanley Cup dreams and everyone’s playoff brackets.
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