Lightning vs. Blue Jackets: 3 takeaways from Game 2

Anthony Cirelli #71 of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Zach Werenski #8 of the Columbus Blue Jackets (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Anthony Cirelli #71 of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Zach Werenski #8 of the Columbus Blue Jackets (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

The Columbus Blue Jackets tie up the series in Game 2, beating the Tampa Bay Lightning by a score of 3-1. Here are three takeaways from that game.

The Columbus Blue Jackets win their first game of their Stanley Cup Playoffs series against the Tampa Bay Lightning and tied the series up 1-1.

Despite playing 8 periods of hockey just two days ago, these two teams didn’t miss a beat and brought the same amount of intensity to Game 2. Here are three takeaways.

1. Columbus shows their mental toughness once again

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The Blue Jackets are one of the mentally toughest teams in the NHL. They are so good at responding to a loss and have yet to lose back-to-back games in the playoffs. When they blew a three-goal lead in four minutes to the Toronto Maple Leafs, they responded with a 3-0 shutout to eliminate them in the next game. After losing a heartbreaking one to the Lightning in 5OT, this team responded with a 3-1 win in Game 2.

This team is so good at doubling down and working through their adversity. Game 2 started completely in the Lightning’s favour and they even got the first goal from Nikita Kucherov. Then, the Blue Jackets responded with two goals of their own, one from Ryan Murray, and a power-play goal from Oliver Bjorkstrand. Mental toughness works wonders on teams and this is one of the toughest teams in the entire league.

2. Lightning blank on powerplay once again

Tampa Bay had two power-play opportunities in this game and failed to capitalize on either one. They are now 0-for-6 on the man advantage and for a team that is so lethal on the powerplay (23.1% in the regular season), this is not a good sign. The Blue Jackets are one of the stingiest teams at even strength, allowing just 123 goals in the regular season which is 6th best in the NHL.

The Blue Jackets are a strong defensive team at 5-on-5 and if the Lightning want to win this series, they’re going to need to capitalize on the man-advantage. With the talent they’re able to ice on the PP, it’s only a matter of time before they’re able to find the back of the net.

3. Seth Jones appreciation time

After setting a new NHL record with 65:06 minutes of ice time in Game 1, Seth Jones casually returns for Game 2 and plays 28:31 minutes. He averages 35:24 minutes a game which leads all playoff skaters and it’s not even close with the second-most being Ryan McDonagh at 31:53.

What’s so impressive about Jones is that he plays monster minutes for the Blue Jackets and never seems to miss a beat. He’s always in the right position and ready to jump in on the cycle at any time. He’s a major factor all over the ice and is heavily relied upon by John Tortorella. Penalty kill, powerplay, defending a late lead, needing a late goal, you can count on Jones to jump over the boards in any situation and he’s a natural at it.

dark. Next. TBL vs. CBJ: 3 takeaways from Game 1

This is going to be a very hard-fought series in which little momentum swings and small bounces make the big difference makers. Either team can take this series and the one who fights for it just a little harder will be able to move on to Round 2.