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Lightning send apology to fans after sweep

Lightning send apology to fans after sweep

The Lightning pulled their goalie late, and the Blue Jackets opened the scoring spigot on the way to a 7-3 win and shocking four-game sweep of the NHL's best team.

The Lightning had 128 points in the regular season, with a points percentage of.780, the second-highest rate for an 82-game season in National Hockey League history, behind only the 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings (.799). But they outplayed the Lightning with a smothering forecheck and stellar goaltending by Sergei Bobrovsky.

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"Nothing was our way in the series", he said.

"As far as I know, we're playing Tuesday, so were still alive", he said.

The reasons are manifold: Their sloppy puck management and poor line changes were exploited to create numerous scoring chances for the Blue Jackets; they still struggled mightily in their breakouts and defensive coverage; and their propensity to be penalized more often than Columbus once again proved costly. Kyle Connor had a pair of goals for Winnipeg in the victory, with Kevin Hayes, Patrik Laine, Brandon Tanev, and Dustin Byfuglien also finding the back of the net. But, the Lightning are the first to not secure at least one win.

As the seconds ticked off what had turned into a rout because of empty-net goals, the Nationwide Arena crowd that had been standing for the entire third period roared even louder, and the players celebrated wildly, spilling from the bench onto the ice.

Josh Anderson leads the Blue Jackets with a plus-25 in 82 games played this season. The Islanders managed a feat of their own, sweeping a playoff series for the first time since 1983. Not once has their stay lasted just four games.

It wasn't almost enough to stop the Islanders. Vegas forward Max Pacioretty stressed his team is wary regardless of how easy they've made it look by taking Games 2 and 3 by a combined 11-6. A dozen different players scored for the Blue Jackets in the series, while the Lightning's best players were grounded: Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos were held to just two points, Brayden Point had just one of his namesake, and Victor Hedman was scratched with an unknown injury.

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"If we had the answers, we would have found a way to win a game". Jaroslav Halak basically stole that series for the Canadiens, making 131 saves on 134 shots in the final three games to come back from a 3-1 series deficit.

Tarasenko beat Hellebuyck with a wrist shot from the top of the left circle 35 seconds into the third period to give the Blues a 1-0 lead.

But, is it a good thing for the Rangers if the Blue Jackets embark on a deep run in the postseason?

Scheifele tied it at the 7:33 mark, tipping in a feed from Connor. Their goal differential was in the triple digits: +103.

After a slow start in Game 3, the Blues came out strong in the first period.

Pat Maroon had a pair of chances to give the Blues the lead in the second period, hitting the post off a pass from Tyler Bozak and getting stopped by Hellebuyck on a partial break.

Vegas can eliminate the Sharks from the postseason for the second consecutive year on Thursday in San Jose.

Just as they did at every critical point during what became a lopsided series, the Islanders responded nearly immediately. And after yet another controversial cross-check on Jake DeBrusk in Game 2 against Boston, Kadri has been suspended for the remainder of the first round against the Bruins, the league announced Monday. Winnipeg responded a few minutes later when Kyle Connor found Mark Scheifele crashing the net with a flawless feed that Scheifele tipped past Jordan Binnington.

The Sharks were without injured center Michael Haley and defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic. Tyler Johnson's turnover at the blue line resulted in a two-on-one that Riley Nash failed to slip to Savard on the backdoor, and Cam Atkinson generated a breakout that he whistled wide on Vasilevskiy.