The Tampa Bay Lightning might have tied an NHL record for most wins in the regular season, but the top seed in the Eastern Conference will enter their Game 4 matchup against Columbus Blue Jackets completely and utterly desperate to avoid an embarrassing sweep at the hands of the suddenly confident Blue Jackets. Now, after getting dominated in the first three games, let’s find out if the Lightning can extend their season for at least one more game or whether Columbus is the pick to win and cash in!
Lightning vs Blue Jackets 2019 Stanley Cup Odds & Game 4 Preview
- When: Tuesday April 16, 2019, 7:00 PM ET
- Where: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, OH
- TV: SN360, TVA, CNBC, FS-Ohio, SunSports
- Radio: Columbus / Tampa Bay
- Live Stream: NHL.tv
- Opening NHL Odds: Columbus +123 / Tampa Bay -136 (total 6)
Why Bet on Tampa Bay
The best reason to back Tampa Bay is that they’re completely desperate heading into Game 4. Unfortunately, the Lightning have looked nothing like the team that dominated their opponents in the regular season. Following their narrow 4-3 loss in Game 1, Tampa Bay has gotten smacked around in losing Game 2 by the stunning score of 5-1 and then, dropping Game 3 by the score of 3-1. While Ondrej Palat lit the lamp once for the Lightning, it wasn’t nearly enough to help Tampa Bay overcome another lackluster effort at both ends of the ice.
Despite the fact that just four teams out of a whopping 190, have come back to win a best-of-7 playoff series after dropping the first three games, Tampa Bay believes they are capable of becoming the fifth team to pull off the feat.
“We’ve won a lot of hockey games as a team,” Lightning forward Tyler Johnson told reporters following Sunday’s loss. “We can definitely do it. If there’s a group that can, it’s us. We’ve just go to play the right way. Everyone’s got to step up. Everyone’s got to play a solid game, and we’ve got to make it a little bit harder.”
- Goals: 3.88
- Shots: 31.79
- PP/PK Percentage: 27.82
- Goals: 2.75
- Shots: 31.95
- PP/PK Percentage: 16.00
Why Bet On Columbus
There are a number of great reasons to back Columbus in game 4, starting with the fact that the Blue Jackets have completely dominated Tampa Bay the last two games. In Game 3, Matt Duchene, Oliver Bjorkstrand and Cam Atkinson all lit the lamp, and goalie Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 30 shots, including 16 in the final period, to get the win.
“You don’t get to this time of year without a really good goalie to get in, and you don’t win playoff games without your goalie, so I thought he stood really big in those 10, 12 minutes there where they turned it up,” Columbus coach John Tortorella said. “Bob doesn’t say anything. He just goes about his business. The way he prepares is second to none. We’re going to need him, because there’s going to be another push in Game 4.”
The Blue Jackets, who have outscored the Lightning 12-5 through three games, will be looking to close out this series in four games while not giving Tampa Bay the slightest sliver of hope.
“The job’s not done, but at the same time this is fun,” Columbus center Matt Duchene told reporters after scoring for the second straight game in a 3-1 victory Sunday. “This has been unbelievable, and we want to finish the job and leave no doubt. Obviously, we have a great opportunity Tuesday at home in front of our fans. I think these fans deserve that we get the job done here at home.”
- Goals: 3.18
- Shots: 31.45
- PP/PK Percentage: 16.59
- Goals: 2.79
- Shots: 29.44
- PP/PK Percentage: 14.63
Lightning vs Blue Jackets NHL Betting Trends
- Tampa Bay is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games
- Tampa Bay is 17-8 SU in its last 25 games
- Tampa Bay is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games
- Columbus is 9-2 ATS in its last 11 games
- Columbus is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
- The total has gone UNDER in 14 of Columbus’s last 20 games
Expert Analysis and Prediction
At this point, I’m just going to admit defeat, both for my pick on this first round series and Tampa bay’s chances of winning Game 4. The Lightning are 0-4 in their last four playoff games as a favorite and that just doesn’t bode well against a Columbus team that has gone 4-0 in their last four games as an underdog, 6-1 in their last seven home games and a blistering 10-1 in their last 11 games overall. I like Columbus to close out this shocking first round series in four games by getting the win on Tuesday night.
Pick: Columbus 4 Tampa Bay 3