Published: Wed, April 17, 2019
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Lightning Become First Presidents' Trophy Winner to Be Swept in First Round

Lightning Become First Presidents' Trophy Winner to Be Swept in First Round

The Tampa Bay Lightning ended up on the wrong side of National Hockey League history, getting swept in the first round of the playoffs after one of the best regular seasons ever. They are great people.

McDonagh is purportedly the Lightning's best defenseman after Hedman, and he is viewed as a player who can impede opponents' best forward lines. This earned Kucherov the Art Ross Trophy.

The Lightning came into the playoffs with an NHL-record-tying 62 wins, three 40-goal. From that point on, they were outscored, 19-5.

They're well aware getting the fourth will be the hardest one of all. Boasting one of the NHL's best releases, Stamkos couldn't solve Bobrovsky for large stretches and appeared to be increasingly frustrated as the series bore on.

Columbus Blue Jackets fans are ready to break out the brooms...only it'll have to be metaphorically and not literally. He finished with 30 saves in the clincher.

Josh Bailey set up Brock Nelson's go-ahead goal late in the first period and added an empty-net score with 38 seconds remaining as the Islanders easily captured the franchise's second playoff series victory in 26 years.

The Columbus Blue Jackets were clinging to a 4-3 lead and the Tampa Bay Lightning's high-scoring stars were swarming around Sergei Bobrovsky, as the clock ticked down in what would be a history-making playoff game. It's about as unlikely a result as you could possibly imagine.

The Lightning might have had Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos, but that didn't stop the Blue Jackets from playing their game. There was just one problem. The Capitals had a revolving door of coaches for a time, but stuck with Barry Trotz through three straight second-round defeats before he led them to a championship, so firing the coach isn't a panacea. He was recovering from a concussion thanks to one of the dirtiest hits I've ever seen: Duncan Keith intentionally elbowed an unsuspecting Daniel directly in the face away from the puck.

After being down 3-0 in the first game, the Blue Jackets fought back and won 4-3. The penalty kill that was No. 1 in the regular season was abysmal.

During the 2013-14 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Montreal Canadiens made it all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals. The next two games have been a different story. "Thank you for being there the entire way". "If we had the answers we would have found a way to win a game". NY posted the franchise's best regular-season record in 35 years by limiting chances and relying heavily on Trotz's system that preaches pragmatism and patience.

The Detroit Red Wings similarly lost in six games to the Edmonton Oilers in 2006 after winning the Presidents' Trophy. Even while they were never out of any game until the final minutes, they allowed the Islanders too many odd-man rushes and were unable to hold leads or momentum. Goaltender Jonas Hiller had the Sharks' number all series, posting two shutouts.

It's going to take a serious amount of divine intervention for the Lightning to pull themselves out of the ridiculously oversized hole they've dug over the past three games. Widely considered to be a candidate for the Vezina this season, the 24-year-old couldn't withstand the Blue Jackets' tenacious attack, posting a dreadful.855 save percentage on 104 shots. They clinched a playoff spot after just 68 games and were coasting well before reaching that mark. He got hot at the right time.

Following a series of meetings over the two off days in Vancouver, the Blue Jackets won five in a row and seven of their last eight to qualify. Bobrosvky was fantastic, while Vasilevskiy simply wasn't as dominant as he had been in the regular season.

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