Jacksonville Sports Day

NHL: Lightning Have Playoff Backs to Wall Against Columbus After Going 0-3

Photo Courtesy TampaBayLightning.com

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Tampa Bay Lightning fell into an 0-3 hole in its best-of-seven First Round series against the Columbus Blue Jackets after losing 3-1 in Game 3 at Nationwide Arena Sunday night.

“I thought we battled. We weathered that first storm we knew they’d have in the first period. But after that, especially in the third period, we carried play. Things that have gone in this year just haven’t gone in,” said Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper.

Tampa Bay scored its lone goal at 4:40 of the third period, Ondrej Palat netting his first goal of the series and seventh playoff goal overall of his career to pull the Lightning to within 2-1. Erik Cernak earned the primary assist on Palat’s goal for his third-straight game with an assist in his first three career playoff games. Tyler Johnson also grabbed an assist for his first point of the First Round series.

Columbus scored twice in the second period to take a 2-0 lead into the second intermission. Matt Duchene opened scoring with his second goal of the series, scoring at 1:44 of the second period to put Columbus in front 1-0. Oliver Bjorkstrand converted a power play at 8:25 of the second to extend the Blue Jackets’ lead to 2-0.

Andrei Vasilevskiy made 27 saves on 29 shots in defeat. Vasilevskiy has lost five-consecutive playoff starts dating back to last season.

Cam Atkinson tallied an empty-net marker with one minute to go to seal the win for Columbus.

“I think you’re doing yourself a disservice if you’re going to look at the big picture. I do know there’s a lot of positive energy in that room after the 3rd period. As down as the guys are about losing the game, and rightfully so, I think the guys liked how the game started to go in the second half,” added Cooper.

The First Round series between the Lightning and Blue Jackets continues in Columbus for Game 4 at Nationwide Arena on Tuesday (7 p.m. puck drop).

GAME NOTES: The Lightning have trailed 0-3 in a playoff series just once previously (2014 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against Montreal) and went on to lose that series in four games….the Bolts dropped to 14-10 all-time in Game 3s….he Lightning are 8-6 all-time in Game 3s on the road…..he Bolts have lost five-consecutive playoff games dating back to last season’s Eastern Conference Final….the Lightning fall to 36-30 overall all-time in the postseason.




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