Short-handed Lightning pushed to edge with loss to Blue Jackets

Short-handed Lightning pushed to edge with loss to Blue Jackets

After being down 3-0 in the first period, the Blue Jackets started to turn things around.

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov has been suspended one game after boarding Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Markus Nutivaara on Friday night during Game 2 of the teams' first-round series. Columbus is 4-0 in their last 4 games overall and 5-1 in their last 6 home games while the under is 6-2 in their last 8 games as a home underdog.

Columbus has commanded the series since they fell behind 3-0 in the opening period of Game 1, only to rally to win that one 4-3. The best team in the National Hockey League regular season by a wide margin, the Lightning are now in truly dire straits.




After a scoreless first period, the Blue Jackets struck 1:44 into the second when Duchene was in the right place to score off a rebounded.

While this surge ahead is clearly good news for Columbus, just previous year the Blue Jackets were up 2-0 in the first round against the Washington Capitals on the road before losing the next four games and the series. But the Lighting couldn't muster any more, and Atkinson connected on an empty-netter with a minute left in the game.

As Tampa Bay trailed 5-1 with under five minutes to go, Kucherov tripped Columbus defenseman Markus Nutivaara and then delivered a risky follow-up hit on Nutivaara, which was ruled to be boarding. He has been held off the scoresheet through two games of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Oliver Bjorkstrand followed with a power-play goal, doubling the Blue Jackets lead.

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