A season after being swept in the opening round of the NHL playoffs, the Tampa Bay Lightning have started the 2020 playoffs on the right foot.
Currently in a battle with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Tampa Bay has avoided being swept for the second straight season and are now on the verge of a second-round playoff berth.
Earlier today, the Lightning battled Columbus in game 4 of their best-of-7 series. A win for Tampa would put Columbus in a stranglehold. if the Jackets were to win, they would even the series up against one of the league’s best teams.
Knowing their backs are against the wall, Columbus came out firing. They opened the scoring in the first frame nearly two minutes into the game. A loose puck in front found the back of the net, giving Columbus a one-goal lead. However, Tampa Bay would challenge that the play was offside and the goal would be reviewed.
Upon further review, it was determined that the Blue Jackets were offside before scoring, so the call was reversed, keeping the score at 0-0.
The official opening goal wouldn’t come until the second period. 16 seconds into the middle frame, Barclay Goodrow put a bouncing puck into the back of the cage, opening the scoring for the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Up 1-0, the Lightning were not done there. Yanni Gourde would give Tampa Bay the two-goal advantage nearly four minutes after the opening goal. Gourde would redirect a shot from the point past Korpisalo, extending the lead.
In an attempt to fire up his squad, Cam Atkinson would score the first official goal for Columbus in this game. Just under two minutes after Gourde scored for Tampa Bay, Atkinson would tally his third of the postseason to cut the deficit in half.
Entering the final frame of the game, the Blue Jackets were looking to even up the game, as well as the series. However, a late push from Columbus wouldn’t be enough as Tampa Bay would hold onto the slim 2-1 victory.
In the win, goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy would turn away 28 shots from the buzzing Blue Jackets. CBJ goalie Joonas Korpisalo stopped 20 of 22 shots in the loss.
Columbus is now one loss away from elimination. Game 5 is set to take place on Wednesday at Noon, EST.