Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Columbus Blue Jackets: Takeaways from Game 5

Joonas Korpisalo #70 of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Andrei Vasilevskiy #88 of the Tampa Bay Lightning (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Joonas Korpisalo #70 of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Andrei Vasilevskiy #88 of the Tampa Bay Lightning (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

The Tampa Bay Lightning defeat the Columbus Blue Jackets in five games to move on to Round 2. Here are three takeaways from the final game of the series.

The Tampa Bay Lightning showed off their resilience in Game 5, slaying their dragons and defeating the Columbus Blue Jackets in Round 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Here are three takeaways from the final game of the series:

1. Lopsided powerplay chances

The referees were quite lenient with the Blue Jackets and very aggressive with the Lightning. Pierre-Luc Dubois committed at least two glaringly obvious penalties, one being elbowing and another was a dangerous crosscheck but neither of them were called.

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Columbus got six powerplays while Tampa Bay got nothing. This is quite odd in the NHL as referees are notorious for their “even up calls” which were nonexistent in Game 5. You would think that in an elimination game the referees would let the players play but that was not the case in this game.

The Blue Jackets’ first goal of the game came seconds after their power play expired and their second goal was on the man advantage. They did a great job of moving the puck and keeping it in the offensive zone to tire out the defense and eventually take advantage.

For a team that struggled in the powerplay department, capitalizing on their many chances was a big reason why this game was so close.

2. Resilience, resilience, resilience

The Blue Jackets have been displaying their resilience all season and playoff long. They were down 2-0 in an elimination game and responded with 4 unanswered goals. You can never count this team out and they prove this time and time again. On the flip side, the Lightning have developed resilience of their own since the embarrassing sweep from last year.

After giving up four unanswered goals, this team did not back down. Instead, they came back strong in the second half of the third period, with a big goal from Kevin Shattenkirk to keep his team in the game and a clutch goal from Anthony Cirelli to tie the game with less than two minutes to go.

3. Point comes up clutch again

Brayden Point was the hero in the thrilling 5OT game and is the overtime hero yet again in Game 5. Throughout the game, the Lightning’s stars were pretty silent and were starting to get frustrated, most notably Nikita Kucherov as he was not happy with some of the hits laid on him. Early in the overtime, Kucherov came up big with a primary assist on Point’s series-winning goal and now his team gets to move on to Round 2.

Point has been such a big player for Tampa Bay and with Steven Stamkos out, both him and Kucherov are heavily leaned on to provide the goals. If this team is going to go far, it is going to be because of their stars and in Game 5, their stars came up clutch.

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The Lightning have finally avenged themselves over the Blue Jackets and are moving on to the second round. This team has not had the same regular season dominance as they did last season, but they look much more dangerous. They’re willing to play strong defensive hockey and are way tougher mentally. Getting over the hump with Columbus will be a huge momentum swinger for this team as they looked poised to make a deep run this season.