The unthinkable has happened in this series folks. The Columbus Blue Jackets continued their dominance of the Tampa Bay Lightning in a 3-1 win and now lead their best of seven series 3-0. If you asked any analyst, any hockey fan, anyone who knew the sport at all a few weeks ago and they all would’ve told you the same thing: The Lightning were going to win this series. Now? The Blue Jackets are making us all eat crow and they are shocking the entire world. Game Three Recap. Let’s do this.
After a scoreless first period where the Blue Jackets poured ten shots on in front of their home crowd, they got them out of their seats early in the second period when Matt Duchene would break the ice. After a big shot from the point, Duchene jumped on the rebound and backhanded it into a basically open cage for a 1-0 Blue Jackets lead. The Nationwide Arena crowd was getting into it now and the Lightning were still unprepared for the storm to come.
Later in the second period, Oliver Bjorkstrand, who is having a nice resurgence since the second half of the season, would strike and give the Blue Jackets a 2-0 lead midway into the second period. After a solid cross-ice dish from Seth Jones, Bjorkstrand would snipe the puck past Andrei Vasilevskiy with a absolute laser of a shot. The Blue Jackets were rolling and they weren’t backing down. But the Lightning found a bit of a spark.
Early in the third period, Ondrej Palat would give the Lightning a much needed goal. A net-front redirection would cut the Blue Jackets lead to 2-1 and cause a little panic to run through Nationwide Arena. The third period would see the Lightning fail to score again though and the Blue Jackets would get an empty-net tally from Cam Atkinson to go up 3-1 late in the third period. The Blue Jackets would tae game three and send Nationwide into a frenzy.
They are shocking the hockey world. They are shocking the entire sports world. Could the Blue Jackets close out the series in game four at Nationwide on Tuesday? It’s entirely possible. The Jackets are proving us wrong every day; they are making fools out of their doubters. Jarmo Kekalainen made some power moves at the deadline in hopes of the Cup making it’s way to Columbus. His dream looks more like a reality than it has all season.
See you for game four.