National Hockey League

Blue Jackets move to the brink of sweeping Lightning


The Russian goalie shut the door when the Tampa Bay Lightning made a desperate late surge on Sunday night, preserving a 3-1 win and giving Columbus a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarterfinal against the NHL's best team.


The Blue Jackets will try to finish the sweep — and win a playoff series for the first time in franchise history — in Game 4 at home on Tuesday night.


Without their top scorer, the suspended Nikita Kucherov, and injured defenseman Victor Hedman, the Lightning, who finished with a league-best 62 wins, couldn't find any momentum until late, and then Bobrovsky rose to the challenge.


The night was satisfying for Bobrovsky — he hasn't been great in the playoffs the last two seasons — and the Blue Jackets, who were 2-8 at Nationwide Arena in three previous postseason appearances.


The last time was in 2014, when the Los Angeles Kings dug out of the hole in the opening series against San Jose and eventually won the Stanley Cup.


Bjorkstrand went over Vasilevskiy's head on a power play for a 2-0 Columbus lead at 8:25, with rookie Alexandre Texier picking up his first NHL assist.






Powered by Blogger.