BOLTS JOLTED: Blue Jackets stun NHL-best Lightning in four-game sweep

Blue Jackets' Pierre Luc Dubois right celebrates his goal against the Lightning with teammates Oliver Bjorkstrand left and Adam Clendening during the first period of Game 4 of an NHL first-round playoff series Tuesday

Blue Jackets' Pierre Luc Dubois right celebrates his goal against the Lightning with teammates Oliver Bjorkstrand left and Adam Clendening during the first period of Game 4 of an NHL first-round playoff series Tuesday

The Lightning has taken all the expectations set forth for them, crumpled them up, and threw them in the trash.

The Columbus Blue Jackets were clinging to a 4-3 lead and the Tampa Bay Lightning's high-scoring stars were swarming around Sergei Bobrovsky, as the clock ticked down in what would be a history-making playoff game. While this may have an impact on the outcome to a certain degree, it can not be the sole reason for the Lightning's breakdown.

Sullen and speechless, the Tampa Bay Lightning had little explanation for how they followed up a glorious regular season by getting bounced from the playoffs with record-setting haste.

The Lightning played from behind for most of the first two periods Tuesday.

The script for this series was that Calgary should have its way at 5-on-5 while the Avalanche would need to rely on their edge in goaltending, but that hasn't been the case and the Avs are flying under the radar a bit thanks to what's going on in Columbus. Kucherov had 41 goals and 87 assists for a total of 128 points, which earned him the Art Ross Trophy. In the postseason, things have looked vastly different.

"You lose the first one and you play a bad game but having that confidence come back in Game 2 and 3 and play strong so we've got to remember that", Pacioretty said. In fact, Kucherov is now a minus-2 while on the ice. He hasn't practised since leaving Game 2. "You've got to trust what's gotten to you to this point and what our strengths are and how we've gotten here". "It's tough. I don't know what to say", said Nikita Kucherov, the Lightning's star winger who won the National Hockey League scoring title this season.

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. Two of these shots came in Game 1, there were zero shots on goal in Game 2 and a single shot on goal in Game 3. "And it's unfortunate because it puts a bluntness on what was one hell of a regular season".

This brings the discussion to the captain.

But the Jackets didn't just win a series. Fellow defenceman Anton Stralman (lower-body injury) is also out while forward Alex Killorn (undisclosed) is a game-time decision. Stamkos is currently in the last place on the team in this category right now.

How can one expect the younger players on the team to play to the absolute best of their abilities when those in a position of leadership have done next to nothing to advance the team's station? It was likely not the ending most others imagined for the Lightning either. "When you have that, it's going to be tough for teams to beat you". Alas, we're stuck in a perpetual state of shock along with the rest of the Lightning fanbase.

It may seem like it now, but the Tampa Bay Lightning is not dead in the water just yet. They executed a detailed game plan to slow us down, and we didn't have a response to it. Atkinson connected on an empty-netter with a minute left in the game. This starts at the top all the way down to the bottom.

Fans can watch the game online for free via a trial of fuboTV.

The action is scheduled to kick off at 7:00 p.m.

Ticket-holders anticipating a series sweep on Tuesday at Nationwide Arena in Columbus were reminded by arena security through Twitter to leave their brooms at home due to safety concerns. "We're going to enjoy it, but we've got to carry this momentum forward now".

We here at Bolts By The Bay still believe in our team.

There's plenty to unpack in the Blue Jackets' sweep of the Lightning, but perhaps the most important for Canucks fans is that it erases an ignominious mark on their favourite franchise.

Want your voice heard? NY allowed the fewest goals in the league during the regular season, and then backed it up with 12-plus periods of sound hockey that's quickly become their calling card under first-year coach Barry Trotz, who led the Washington Capitals to the Stanley Cup last season. We'll have to wait and see.

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