The Columbus Blue Jackets have shocked the world two games into the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Facing the number one team in the league, Columbus went into Tampa Bay, walked all over the Lightning and are leaving with swagger.
Fans predicted this series could be a sweep in favor of Tampa Bay, but the Blue Jackets have proven that the regular season means nothing. After stunning the Lightning in game one, the Blue Jackets picked right back up, defeating Tampa Bay 5-1.
Columbus will now take a 2-0 series lead home as they play host to the Lightning. The Blue Jackets don’t have to search hard for a similar series of events. A season ago, the Blue Jackets had a two-game lead over the Washington Capitals. Washington would storm back and win the series, so the Blue Jackets cannot breathe just yet.
Focusing on tonight’s game, the Blue Jackets jumped out to an early lead in the first period. Cam Atkinson would open the scoring five minutes into the game to give the Blue Jackets a one-goal lead. Minutes later, it would be Zach Werenski potting his first of the postseason to give Columbus the two-goal edge.
Entering the second period, the Blue Jackets had a two-goal lead on their opponents. On the power play, Matt Duchene would find the back of the net to give Columbus a commanding three-goal lead.
In the third period, Tampa Bay would finally find the back of the net, five minutes in the frame. Mikhail Sergachev buried his first of the playoffs to bring the game to 3-1. However, it wouldn’t matter much as Riley Nash would put the dagger in the hopes of Tampa Bay, scoring his first of the postseason. The goal also gave Columbus a 3 goal lead once again, leading 4-1. Minutes later, Artemi Panarin would help deliver another nail in the coffin, making it 5-1 Columbus, which would end up being the final score.
Special teams were important in this one. Columbus were 2/4 on the man advantage, while the Lightning squandered their power play opportunities, going 0/2.
Matt Duchene had a huge night, tallying one goal and three assists in the victory.