The Lightning swept the three game regular season series for the Blue Jackets in convincing fashion, outscoring them 17-3 in the trio of games. The Bolts also enter this contest on a six-game winning streak against the Jackets.
One paper, this series has the best possibility of a four-game sweep as the Lightning finished the regular season 30 points better than the Blue Jackets – the widest gap of any first round series. But the regular season doesn’t matter now in the NHL’s second season where John Tortorella will try to knock off his former team.
Blue Jackets vs Lightning Stanley Cup Playoffs Betting Analysis
At Sports Interaction, the Lightning are the clear cut favourite to win the series paying -588. They are paying +458 to sweep the Blue Jackets as well. To take it a step further, the Bolts are +200 favourites to win the Stanley Cup.
The Lightning swept the three game regular season series for the Blue Jackets in convincing fashion, outscoring them 17-3 in the trio of games. The Bolts also enter this game on a six-game winning streak against the Jackets.
Columbus has played better on the road this season 25-14-2 than at home, but in the last 13 games played in Tampa Bay are 3-10.
Columbus Blue Jackets
The Blue Jackets were the busiest club at the trade deadline, and for now, it has paid off as they clinched a wildcard spot in the Eastern conference. But will that payoff last more than one series?
The Bread Man Artemi Panarin broke his own team records for points (87) and assists (59) this season and as he goes, so do the Blue Jackets offensively. The good news for the Jackets is Panarin has a goal and seven assists in his last five regular season games. Now, the bad news, there is a chance that this post season is the last Blue Jackets fans will see him in a home town jersey, he is an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
Keep an eye on goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky. The two-time Vezina trophy winner has struggled in his last two years during the post season with a 3-8 record and a save percentage under .900. He is also an unrestricted free agent at season’s end, and there is talk that this could be his last season in Ohio.
Tampa Bay Lightning
The Lightning have a lot of hardware in their locker room with the possibility of adding a Vezina, Jack Adams, and Hart trophy to it. They already boast an Art Ross winner, not to mention the President trophy (62-win regular season). But the big prize is now in their sights, the Stanley Cup.
Steven Stamkos set a new career best with 98 points on the season, including 45 goals, which was fourth in the league. He is the +650 favourite to lead the post season as top goal scorer. He is also a top three candidate to win the Conn Smythe trophy at +800.
Nikita Kucherov captured the Art Ross trophy scoring with 128 points, 12 more than second place Connor McDavid. He is the heavy favourite to win the Conn Smythe trophy at +380 and second at +700 to score the most goals in the post season.