It's do or die for the Lightning tonight as the team looks to avoid a series sweep against the Blue Jackets in Game 4.
The most recent sports headlines delivered to your inbox every morning.
"We haven't changed our system, we haven't changed our philosophy, we've gotten some shots on the net and we're going to keep on doing that", says Columbus head coach John Tortorella, whose team has outscored the Lightning 12-2 since falling behind 3-0 in the series opener. I was kind of in the same boat as everyone else here where we were a little tight and overthinking and not just letting the game flow.
Tampa was close to forcing overtime in Game 3, trailing by one with less than a minute left in the third period, but Cam Atkinson's empty-net goal sealed a two-goal victory for the Blue Jackets. Artemi Panarin has recorded four goals and 10 assists over the last 10 games for Columbus.
The rookie Cirelli scored in a 4-3, Game 1 loss, fresh off a 19-goal, 39-point regular season while averaging just under 15 minutes of ice time on a stacked Tampa squad that won 62 games.
"It's reality", Lightning coach Jon Cooper said after Game 4. Bailey's shot found its target, and the Islanders finished off the three-time champion Penguins in a sweep. Max Pacioretty scored on the Golden Knights' first shot, 1:11 into the game and Shea Theodore capped the period with another goal when he split two defensemen and backhanded past Jones, the last shot he'd see.
In Game 2, it was the game-winning goal midway through the third period to help give the Islanders a commanding lead in the series.
The Islanders are also on the verge of a first-round sweep, getting past the Penguins 4-1 in Game 3 of their best-of-seven series on Sunday afternoon as +170 underdogs on the National Hockey League odds.
It wasn't almost enough to stop the Islanders.
If the Lightning can get back to working like the well-oiled machine they were in the regular season, the Bolts will be able to fight back and prove they're still the team to beat in the postseason. We've cashed three times with the Blue Jackets as underdogs and this line is giving no respect to what Columbus has done so far.
Mark Scheifele also scored and Connor Hellebuyck made 31 saves for the Jets, who arrived in St. Louis down 2-0.
Bet on the game or on the Blue Jackets, Lightning to win the Stanley Cup at DraftKings and get a free $20 bet when you sign up.
Game 5 is Thursday night back in Winnipeg.
With Columbus clinging to a 4-3 lead in the third period, Tampa Bay had wrested the momentum from the Blue Jackets but still couldn't solve Bobrovsky. The power-play goal, Tarasenko's eighth career in the postseason, moved him into a tie with Brian Sutter and Al MacInnis for fourth in franchise history. Winnipeg responded a few minutes later when Kyle Connor found Mark Scheifele crashing the net with a ideal feed that Scheifele tipped past Jordan Binnington. It was Scheifele's second goal of the series.
After a slow start in Game 3, the Blues came out strong in the first period. They built an 8-0 advantage in shots on goal as it took the Jets nearly 11 minutes to test Binnington, who came up with a couple of saves on a Winnipeg power play to keep the game scoreless.
Binnington came up big on a point-blank chance from Scheifele early in the second, and Brandon Tanev hit the crossbar on a breakaway midway through the period.
The Sharks outshot Vegas, 28-27.
The Sharks were without injured center Michael Haley and defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic. The play resulted in a one-game suspension in Game 3 for Kucherov.