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Stamkos: Lightning 'learned a lesson' after coughing up 3-goal lead

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Columbus Blue Jackets - 4/12/19 NHL - Playoffs Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Tampa Bay has three 40-goal scorers on their team, a deadly power play, a very good defence and an elite goaltender. They are the defending champions, so they know exactly what needs to be done to win. At this point, they need to prove they can withstand the full grind of the season from beginning to end.

Too many point shots is one of those issues that seems all too obvious with power plays dealing with deeper-seated issues than a mere cold streak. To take it a step further, the Bolts are +200 favourites to win the Stanley Cup.

The Columbus Blue Jackets and Tampa Bay Lightning meet Friday in game two of the National Hockey League first round at the Amalie Arena.

Josh Bailey scored on a rebound at 4:39 of overtime and the Islanders beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 on Wednesday night in the opener of their Eastern Conference first-round playoff series. I expect them to jump out of the gates early on this one and run away with it without looking back. The Blues continued their dominant play in the playoffs, setting themselves up with a date in the Final against the aforementioned Lightning.

Tortorella said he's not surprised about the 2-0 series advantage even after the early hole in Game 1.

Tampa Bay won the season series, sweeping all three games against the Blue Jackets.

The Lightning boasted a 31-1-2 record during the regular season when leading after the first period. The Presidents' Trophy probably should mean more because being the best team over an 82 game span is a hard task, but nobody makes their goal to win the Presidents' Trophy.

Despite losing in the Stanley Cup Final, Jordan Binnington continued his regular season dominance. In his career, he has gone 15-12 with a 2.73 GAA in the postseason. The Flames haven't been able to make it out of the first round since 2015, but the Colorado Avalanche hasn't since 2008. Even the 2008-09 San Jose Sharks at least took the Anaheim Ducks to six games. The Washington Capitals were the top team three times and didn't win the Stanley Cup in any of those seasons.

While the Capitals have all of the pieces in place to make a run for a repeat this season, including Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy victor Alexander Ovechkin, Carolina's done well in its three playoff appearances over the past 16 seasons, losing in the Cup final in 2002, winning the Cup in 2006 and losing in the Conference Finals in 2009.

The other matchups from the East will be the Pittsburgh Penguins vs. the New York Islanders and the Boston Bruins vs. the Toronto Maple Leafs. They made solid moves at the trade deadline and could challenge the Lightning if they can get good defense and clutch goaltending from Sergei Bobrovsky. They were unbelievable at home and they were 3-0 against the Blue Jackets during the regular season, outscoring them 17-3 in the process.

Fans can enjoy all that NHL 19 has to offer while also paying tribute to stars of the past with the addition of Legends, featuring over 200 of hockey's greatest from all eras, including Wayne Gretzky. Those are some pretty respectable numbers, but are we really going to start betting on Petr Mrazek? Play with the best of the best from all eras in both single-player and multiplayer modes.

Heiskanen became the eighth rookie teenage defenseman in NHL history to score a goal in their first career playoff game and the first since Adam Larsson with New Jersey on May 1, 2012, against Philadelphia, according to NHL Stats. The NHL odds for Game 2 have them at -245 again, nearly assuredly they will not have the same kind of support.

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