After a hot start, the first game of the Stanley Cup playoffs did not go as planned for the Bolts. After allowing 3 goals in the third period, the Tampa Bay Lightning are down 1-0 in the best of 7 series.
The first game of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs got off to a terrific start for the top-seeded Tampa Bay Lightning. Four minutes in we scored our first goal, and finished the period with 3 goals to kick off the postseason. The next two periods, however, we were blanked by Columbus' goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky.
Tampa Bay’s star power was lacking in this one. Tampa’s top three point-getters of the season, Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, and Brayden Pointe, were a combined minus four and did not have a single point in their playoff debut. Our defense also slacked as Victor Hedman had a sloppy performance and Anton Stralman sat with an injury. Stralman should be back at some point during the series.
This is similar to last season's playoffs when the Columbus Blue Jackets went up 2-0 in the series against the eventual Stanley Cup champions, the Washington Capitals. Obviously, the Tampa Bay Lightning won’t be forgotten or counted out as they are the favorites, but they will have to tighten up the defensive play and capitalize on their scoring chances, especially from the aforementioned star players Kucherov and Stamkos. Game 2 will be Friday night at Amalie Arena at 7 PM.
By Diego Quintero