National Hockey League

Lightning, Bruins, Avalanche, Flyers eye clinching series

“I have no doubt this group will be ready,” Lightning forward Blake Coleman said Tuesday, looking ahead to Tampa Bay’s opportunity to oust the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday (NBCSN, 12 p.m. EDT) in Toronto.

The Blue Jackets swept the Lightning in the first round of last season’s playoffs, and this year’s series has been a lot tighter than Tampa Bay’s 3-1 advantage might suggest.

The Blue Jackets played fairly well in a 2-1 loss in Game 4, and captain Nick Foligno said the team remains confident it can work its way back into the series.

The Bruins are on the verge of advancing after scoring four goals within a seven-minute span of the third period to wipe out a 2-0 deficit and beat the Hurricanes 4-3 on Monday.

To extend the Bruins, the Hurricanes will have to rebound from a horrendous period that ruined their chances of evening the series.

The Blues will play the remainder of the first round without forward Vladimir Tarasenko, who’s returning to St. Louis for more evaluation of the surgically repaired left shoulder that’s sidelined him much of the season.

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