Columbus will play Tampa in the NHL playoffs on August 17. Will the Tampa manage to get their third win in this series? Read our experts’ prediction for this confrontation to find out!
Columbus Blue Jackets
Columbus played a disciplined defense throughout the season and conceded fewer goals compared to other teams. The team, even in a series with Tampa, does not concede more than two goals. Their problem is that they cannot open the defense of Tampa more than two times. It was possible to do this only in the second meeting when the Jackets snatched a victory with a score of 3-1, but in the last match, they lost 2-3.
Columbus had four chances on the powerplay, but they did not use any of them. Perhaps they’ve lost because of this. Also note that John Tortorella’s squad allows the opponent to shoot a lot, while they inflict half as much.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa Bay does not want to repeat last year’s streak and intends to beat the rival with a score of 4-1 in the series. The team changed tactics in the playoffs and began to play more closed than during the regular season. John Cooper’s squad also tries to apply constant pressure on the opponent’s goal but plays more carefully so as not to run into a counterattack once again.
We want to emphasize that in this Stanley Cup playoffs, Braden Point is the best sniper in the Lightning squad. He has already scored four goals. Nikita Kucherov is also noteworthy. He has six points in total. Oddly enough, Tampa hasn’t scored more than three goals in the series against Columbus, although, as we noted earlier, they create a lot of chances in the opponent’s zone.
Columbus Blue Jackets – Tampa Bay Lightning
In our opinion, this meeting will again turn out to be low-scoring, as Tampa Bay plays defensively, which is why Columbus has very few chances in the Lightning zone. Since John Cooper’s men are approaching the matches much better than last year, we suggest betting on the Bolts double chance.