Monday, 24 June, 2019

New York Rangers lose 1st-round pick via Tampa Bay Lightning loss

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 2019 Lightning overtake 2012 Canucks for the worst playoff result for a Presidents' Trophy winner
Shannon Reynolds | 17 April, 2019, 17:24

Tampa Bay, the Presidents' Trophy victor during the regular season, was a -145 favorite on Sunday in the UNDER result on the totals. "Everything you're feeling - we get it". "The job's not done". "We've just got to execute better, and that goes for everybody". The Blue Jackets came out with speed and energy in the next two games that the Lightning could never match. Kyle Connor had a pair of goals for Winnipeg in the victory, with Kevin Hayes, Patrik Laine, Brandon Tanev, and Dustin Byfuglien also finding the back of the net. In contrast, Tampa Bay goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy finished the series with an.856 save percentage and a 3.82 goals-against average. But when you have expectations like the Tampa Bay Lightning did, the only way to take the narrative is in the pits of pessimism and frustration, an area the Montreal Canadiens are all too familiar with. Everyone's going to talk about us losing the series, but they did a lot of good things.

The good news, if you can even say that phrase with a straight face at this point in the series, is the Lightning will go into tonight's game with the assistance of Nikita Kucherov.

It all came so easily for Tampa Bay - until it didn't. If not, the Lightning will be swept in the First Round.

"Nothing was our way in the series", he said. "But at the end of the day, it wasn't good enough top to bottom from our team". The team account tweeted after the game, "This isn't the ending we imagined, and certainly not the one we wanted".

A fourth straight loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight, and the Lightning will have a chapter of National Hockey League lore all to themselves.

Islanders 3, Penguins 1 - Jordan Eberle scored for the fourth straight game, Robin Lehner stopped 32 shots, and NY finished off Sidney Crosby and Pittsburgh at home for a stunning sweep.

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Not only did Columbus win a playoff series for the first time in five tries, it did so in dominating fashion. The league's most unsafe offense couldn't produce more than an average of two goals a game.

In the last decade, Toronto has been unable to overcome Boston in the first round twice - once in 2013 and again last season, falling in seven games in both series.

It wasn't almost enough to stop the Islanders. Tampa Bay became the first team in the expansion era, which began in 1967-68, to go winless in the first round of the playoffs after leading the league in points during the regular season.

The Penguins did their best to stay loose while trying to avoid getting swept in the first round for the second time in franchise history.

On Tuesday night, that fire was put out. "They had two remarkable years and got bounced in the second round, and the year no one expected them to do anything, they won the Stanley Cup". For a couple of minutes anyway. Perhaps coach Jon Cooper was right when he said that for six days in April, his team couldn't find its game. The 574th consecutive home sellout crowd buzzed. "The last time we played here, we had a 5-1 lead, and they had completely outplayed us". "It's unfortunate because it puts a blemish on what was one helluva regular season". Duchene managed to keep possession despite having two Lightning skaters trying to thwart him, and he managed to find a release valve up high in Atkinson, who moved the puck to Jones. NY posted the franchise's best regular-season record in 35 years by limiting chances and relying heavily on Trotz's system that preaches pragmatism and patience.

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