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Lightning Look to Bounce Back in Game 2 After Embarrassing Series-Opening Loss

Dan Girardi #5 of the Tampa Bay Lightning defends against Boone Jenner #38 of the Columbus Blue Jackets as goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy #88 looks at the rebound during the second period in Game One of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena on April 10, 2019 in Tampa, Florida.

After going down 3-0 early to the NHL-best Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference first-round series, the Columbus Blue Jackets looked to be dead in the water. But thanks to a spirited comeback that resulted in four unanswered goals, the upstart Jackets possess a 1-0 lead in the series ahead of Game 2 on Friday in Florida. Sportsbooks opened the Lightning as -260 home favorites with a total of 6.5.

Blue Jackets vs Lightning Game Center

Standout Stats

  • Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky came into the series with a .891 career playoff save percentage and gave up two goals on the first four shots he saw but then went on to turn aside all 16 in the final two periods of the game.
  • Hockey bettors who are carrying Lightning futures tickets shouldn’t worry too much right now. Tampa Bay is 4-7 in Game 1 in its last 11 postseason series and has come back to win eight of its past 10 Game 2s.
  • The Lightning owned the top power play (28.2 percent) and penalty kill (85.02) in the NHL in the regular season but were let down by special teams in Game 1. Tampa Bay had a four-minute power play in the third period but didn’t manage to score and gave up a short-handed tally in the process.
  • Columbus’ triumph continued its success as a puckline underdog on the road. The Jackets are now 9-2 on the puckline in their previous 11 road contests when tabbed as puckline dogs. Bovada opened Columbus’ +1.5 number at a price of -120.
  • Game 1 went OVER the 6.5 total by a goal – a trend that’s continued to follow the Bolts of late. In Tampa Bay’s past 10 tilts, the OVER is 8-2 with an average combined score of 7.6 goals.

My best bet for Blue Jackets-Lightning

Lightning to win in regulation

You’re not going to find any value in backing Tampa Bay on the moneyline in the early going of the playoffs, so unless you’re willing to eat the -260 moneyline chalk, I’d recommend taking Tampa Bay to win in regulation at -150. The Lightning have to be embarrassed by their second-half performance in Game 1 and will be re-energized to even the series up at home.