COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Columbus Blue Jackets have been clinging to a four-three lead and the Tampa Bay Lightning’s high-scoring stars have been swarming around Sergei Bobrovsky, because the clock ticked down in what can be a historical past-making playoff recreation.
The Blue Jackets’ goaltender stood tall, as he had all the playoff collection, turning away dangerous photographs by Erik Cernak and Cedric Paquette in the final 5 minutes. The Lightning pulled their goalie late, and the Blue Jackets opened the scoring spigot on the best way to a 7-three win and surprising 4-recreation sweep of the NHL’s greatest group.
“It’s a lot enjoyable to play in this type of environment,” stated Bobrovsky after the Blue Jackets gained in entrance of a raucous residence crowd that had been waiting 18 years for the workforce to win a playoff collection. “You are feeling the power, you are feeling that environment, you already know? It’s great. It provides you extra power whenever you win.”
Not only did Columbus win a playoff series for the first time in five tries , it did so in dominating style. The Blue Jackets ousted a staff that had put together one of the prolific scoring lineups ever, a group whose sixty eight regular-season wins tied for probably the most in NHL history.
Because the seconds ticked off what had became a rout because of empty-internet objectives, the Nationwide Area crowd that had been standing for all the third period roared even louder, and the players celebrated wildly, spilling from the bench onto the ice. Winger Cam Atkinson even acquired a minimize on his chin in the course of the joyous melee.
“What an experience in that collection,” stated middle Matt Duchene, who was acquired at the commerce deadline together with winger Ryan Dzingel from Ottawa for the playoff push. “I’ve by no means performed in front of a crowd like that. Insane. It’s pretty particular what we just did. We will take pleasure in it, but we have got to carry this momentum ahead now.”
Columbus, which didn’t secure an Japanese Division playoff spot till the 81st recreation, advances to play the winner of the Boston-Toronto collection, which the Maple Leafs lead 2-1.
Twelve Blue Jackets scored in the collection, but Bobrovsky, who had struggled in three previous playoff series with Columbus, was the star .
He will probably be an unrestricted free agent after the season and has, up to now, refused to re-sign with the staff. He additionally has come beneath criticism at occasions from coach John Tortorella by means of an erratic season, but the former Vezina Trophy winner never withered.
“He is not loopy how I’ve talked about a number of the situations he’s gone via, nevertheless it’s my job to hold individuals accountable,” Tortorella stated. “I am thrilled that he is answering.”
Columbus neutralized Lightning stars Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos with a smothering fore examine that clogged scoring lanes and often turned into opportunities at the other end . When these two finally acquired on the scoresheet Tuesday, it was too late.
Nineteen-yr-previous Alexandre Texier, who was enjoying within the Finnish league final month, opened the scoring Tuesday with his first NHL goal , then added one of the empty-netters.