No. 7 Blue Jackets vs. No. 2 Lightning
3 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVAS, SUN, FS-O
Tampa Bay leads best-of-7 series, 1-0
The Tampa Bay Lightning will try to carry over the momentum from winning the fourth-longest game in NHL history when they play the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference First Round at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on Thursday.
Brayden Point gave the Lightning a 3-2 win in Game 1 on Tuesday when he scored his second goal of the game 10:27 into the fifth overtime in Toronto, the East hub city.
The teams combined for a Stanley Cup Playoff record 151 shots. Joonas Korpisalo made 85 saves for Columbus, 12 more than the previous record for an NHL game (73 by Kelly Hrudey for New York Islanders on April 18, 1987). Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones played 65:06, the most since time on ice became an official NHL statistic in 1997-98.
“I don’t think anyone’s brains were working after last night’s game,” Lightning defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk said Wednesday.
Here are 3 keys to Game 2:
1. Energy level
After Game 1 lasted more than six hours, the Lightning and Blue Jackets didn’t practice Wednesday in order to allow their players to recover and get ready to play.
“Obviously, your body went through a little bit more, so making sure you’re drinking and eating enough and getting your rest,” Blue Jackets forward Boone Jenner said. “So it just amps up, I think it always does in the playoffs, and there could be overtime games back to back, whatever, so you’ve just got to be ready for it that way and try to get ahead of that.”
Columbus will try to avoid going to overtime for the fourth time in five games, after doing so in three of four dating to Game 3 of its best-of-5 series against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers.
“We’ve put in a lot of minutes here the past five or six days,” Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said. “And the coaching staff is nothing but impressed with our group, how they’ve handled themselves here in the bubble, and how they just get ready to play each and every game.”
2. Tampa Bay sticking to its game plan
The Lightning had a little bit of puck luck on each of the three goals they scored in Game 1. But, as the saying goes, good luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity, and Tampa Bay will try to stick to that formula in Game 2.
“We never strayed from what we were told to do and what was successful to try to get that goal sooner, we just stuck with it and waited for our time,” Shattenkirk said. “And waking up today, I think most of us probably thought about it for a bit. But it’s a day of recovery, so I think we’re already having our focus on to Game 2 and making sure that we’re going to be ready because I think we’re going to see the best version of the Columbus Blue Jackets tomorrow at 3 p.m.”
3. Blue Jackets defensemen
The Lightning saw plenty of the Blue Jackets top defense pair of Jones and Zach Werenski throughout Game 1. Jones had six shots on goal, three hits, six blocks and six takeaways, and Werenski had three shots, three hits and five blocks in 61:14.
Columbus blocked 62 shots, including 11 by David Savard and nine by Vladislav Gavrikov, and was 4-for-4 on the penalty kill.
Blue Jackets projected lineup
Liam Foudy — Pierre-Luc Dubois — Alexandre Texier
Gustav Nyquist — Boone Jenner — Nick Foligno
Cam Atkinson — Riley Nash — Oliver Bjorkstrand
Eric Robinson — Alexander Wennberg — Nathan Gerbe
Zach Werenski — Seth Jones
Vladislav Gavrikov — David Savard
Ryan Murray — Dean Kukan
Scratched: Emil Bemstrom, Gabriel Carlsson, Adam Clendening, Stefan Matteau, Markus Nutivaara, Devin Shore, Kevin Stenlund, Scott Harrington
Unfit to play: Elvis Merzlikins, Josh Anderson, Brandon Dubinsky
Lightning projected lineup
Ondrej Palat — Brayden Point — Nikita Kucherov
Alex Killorn — Anthony Cirelli — Tyler Johnson
Barclay Goodrow — Yanni Gourde — Blake Coleman
Pat Maroon — Mitchell Stephens — Cedric Paquette
Victor Hedman — Zach Bogosian
Ryan McDonagh — Erik Cernak
Mikhail Sergachev — Kevin Shattenkirk
Scratched: Mathieu Joseph, Carter Verhaeghe, Alexander Volkov, Braydon Coburn, Jan Rutta, Luke Schenn, Scott Wedgewood
Unfit to play: Steven Stamkos