The Tampa Bay Lightning eliminated the Columbus Blue Jackets on Aug. 19 in five games. Tampa won Games 1, 3, 4 and 5 while Columbus won Game 2 of this series. Here now is the recap of Games 4 and 5 from this first round series.
Game 4: No goals were scored but the Blue Jackets controlled most of this period. Blue Jackets forward Oliver Bjorkstrand scored a goal but was overturned due to the play being offside. Then, the Lightning started to make a late push in the latter stages of the period.
The game was tied at zero heading into the second period.
Game 5: Both teams started out really strong heading into this game. But, it would be the Lightning that would score two quick goals from forwards Tyler Johnson and Blake Coleman. Both goals came within a minute of each other early in the game. However, the Blue Jackets answered back with a goal of their own from captain Nick Foligno 5:12 after Coleman’s goal.
Tampa went into the second period with a 2-1 lead.
Game 4: The Lightning came out with a stronger start scoring two early goals from forwards Barclay Goodrow and Yannie Gourde. However, Blue Jackets forward Cam Atkinson would respond back and score 1:39 after Gourde’s goal. These would also be the only goals scored in this game. However, this was the closest period this game in terms of shots on goals. The Lightning outshot the Blue Jackets 11-10 during the period.
Tampa went into the third period with a 2-1 lead.
Game 5: This period was all about the Blue Jackets. You wouldn’t have known they were down two games in this series just by how they dominated this period. They outshot the Lightning 24-8 during this period alone and got two goals to take the lead. Blue Jackets forwards Kevin Stenlund and Alexander Wennberg scored both Blue Jackets’ goals this period.
Columbus went into the third period with a 3-2 lead.
Game 4: Nothing much happened in this period besides the Blue Jackets giving out everything they had and avoiding being down 3-1 in this series. But, despite having outshot the Lightning 8-4 during this period, the Lightning were able to hold on to their one goal lead behind goaltender Andrei Vasilevksiy’s 28 saves.
Tampa won the game 2-1 and extended the series lead 3-1.
Game 5: The Blue Jackets continued to carry momentum into this period as Bjorkstrand scored to extend his team’s lead to two. However, the Lightning would not back down and took back control of this game. Lightning defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk and forward Anthony Cirelli tied the game at four 6:21 apart. Despite the Lightning tying the game, they outshot the Blue Jackets but only by a narrow margin. They outshot them 7-6.
The game was tied at four heading into overtime.
Overtime: Game 5
This is the second overtime both teams have played in this series. The last time both teams went into extra time was in Game 1 when the Lightning won in five overtime periods. But, this time it only took just this one overtime. And, ironically enough, the game winning goal scorer was the same from Game 1: Lightning forward Brayden Point. Point scored at the 5:12 mark of overtime and closed out this series with his game winning goal.
Tampa won the game 5-4 and the series 3-1.
Three Stars of the Game
Third Star: Zach Werenski (1 assist)
Second Star: Barclay Goodrow (1 goal, 1 assist)
First Star: Yanni Gourde (1 goal, 1 assist)
Third Star: Vladislav Gavrikov (2 assists)
Second Star: Anthony Cirelli (1 goal, 1 assist)
First Star: Brayden Point (1 goal, 2 assists)
What a series this was. Tampa defeated their year long nightmare in Columbus. To refresh, Columbus swept Tampa in four games during last year’s playoffs. Tampa was the league’s top team while Columbus was the last wild card team in the Eastern Conference. From Game 1 to Game 5, this series featured great goaltending and goal scoring from both teams. However, the most memorable this series would be Game 1 when both teams played through five overtime periods.
What gave Tampa the edge in this series was their ability to keep pushing forward offensively and sustaining it even though they’re being outshot themselves. The question heading into the second round for Tampa is whether they can improve defensively. Another big question would be if captain Steven Stamkos would return to the lineup after missing all of Tampa’s games in both the round robin and first round of this series.
On the other hand, Columbus wasn’t the same team as last year when they stunned the hockey world and swept Tampa. They traded away some of their key players like Artemi Panarin and Matt Duchene. However, Columbus definitely pushed Tampa to play their best by generating lots of shots on goal throughout this series. Goaltender Joonas Korpisalo also played really well in this series and is looking to be a franchise goaltender for Columbus.
Tampa will face the Boston Bruins in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Game 1 of that series is on Aug. 23 at 8:00 p.m. EST.