Tampa Bay Lightning at Columbus Blue Jackets
Tampa Bay Lightning Preview
The Tampa Bay Lightning vie for their seventh consecutive victory on Monday when they visit the Columbus Blue Jackets, the team that unceremoniously swept them in the first round of the playoffs last spring. Andrei Vasilevskiy sports a franchise-best 16-0-2 record in his last 18 starts after making 17 saves in the Lightning’s 3-1 win over the New York Islanders on Saturday.
The reigning Vezina Trophy recipient turned aside 100 of 103 shots in three regular-season wins over the Blue Jackets in 2018-19 before seeing his fortunes change in the playoffs. Vasilevskiy yielded 15 goals on 104 shots in the four-game sweep. Hart Trophy recipient Nikita Kucherov (eight goals, 10 assists) and captain Steven Stamkos (nine goals, six assists) are each riding a 10-game point streak into Monday’s contest.
Columbus Blue Jackets Preview
The Columbus Blue Jackets bid to regain their footing after seeing their 10-game point streak (9-0-1) come to a halt when they conclude a four-game homestand against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday. Rookie goaltender Elvis Merzlikins’ run of eight straight wins ended on the same night that the Blue Jackets saw their six-game home winning streak snapped, courtesy of a 2-1 setback to Colorado on Saturday.
Defenseman Seth Jones scored against the Avalanche, marking Columbus’ first power-play goal since Jan. 22. The Blue Jackets, who are 19-3-5 in their last 27 contests, are facing the Lightning for the first time since sweeping last season’s Presidents’ Trophy-winning club in the first round of the playoffs.