Both Tampa Bay and Winnipeg had Game 1 home leads into the third period and could not hang on to win. Will either or both even their series Friday?
For those fans wearing Lightning clothing at Amalie Arena on Wednesday night, it had to be surreal to watch the best team in the NHL all season and one of the best-ever in the regular season, blow a game after having a 3-0 lead. It certainly was on television, as Tampa Bay, who should have an extreme amount of confidence based on their season results, was outplayed the last two periods by Columbus and was anything by confident the final five minutes of the game.
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Tampa Bay had well over 90 percent of bets on them, as they went from -210 and closed at -245 for Game 1. The NHL odds for Game 2 have them at -245 again, almost assuredly they will not have the same kind of support.
Give Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella all the credit for keeping his team engaged even when down 3-0. That was the 27th time in Stanley Cup history a team won after being down three or more goals.
For Columbus, it’s a matter of outworking Tampa Bay, just like they did. Tortorella will preach about grabbing a lead to make the Lightning anxious. Keep in mind the Blue Jackets are 13-4 in away games after seven or more goals were scored.