Columbus Blue Jackets Odds
Fresh off a 3-2 series win over the host Toronto Maple Leafs in a qualifier series for the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Columbus Blue Jackets suddenly find themselves in familiar territory.
The Blue Jackets swept the Lightning in last year’s opening round, in the first playoff series victory in franchise history, eliminating the team that posted the best record in the NHL. Goalie Joonas Korpisalo was a difference-maker in the finale against the Maple Leafs, stopping 33 shots in a 3-0 win on Sunday.
With Elvis Merzlikins ruled unfit to play and head coach John Tortorella unsure when the rookie goaltender might return, the Blue Jackets will be counting on Korpisalo.
Tampa Bay Lightning Odds
Revenge will be the motivating factor for the Tampa Bay Lightning after they won 62 regular-season games a year ago to capture the Presidents’ Trophy, then promptly were swept in the first round of the postseason by the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The teams match up again in the Eastern Conference playoffs beginning Tuesday. The Lightning finished 2-1-0 in round-robin play between top Eastern Conference teams, securing a No. 2 playoff seed. Defenseman Victor Hedman sustained a lower-leg injury Sunday in Tampa Bay’s 4-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers, and his status is day-to-day.
In the one game between the teams during the regular season, Tampa Bay earned a 2-1 road victory in February as Andrei Vasilevskiy made 23 saves.