It's a rematch of a historic postseason encounter.
The Columbus Blue Jackets will face the second-seeded Tampa Bay Lightning in a Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round with puck dropping for Game 1 Tuesday afternoon at 3 p.m.
|STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS • 1st ROUND, GAME 1|
|TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING|
43–21–6 // 92 points
ROSTER / SCHEDULE
3 P.M. – TUESDAY, AUGUST 11
FOX SPORTS OHIO, NBCSN
FOX SPORTS GO
The Jackets, of course, swept the Presidents' Trophy-winning Lightning in the First Round last postseason, turning Columbus into a legit hockey town. This bubble version of the Blue Jackets looks a lot different than the team that pulled that feat, however, with the offseason departures of Artemin Panarin, Sergei Bobrovsky, and Matt Duchene.
But so might the Lightning, who piled up an impressive 92 points before the season was stopped, but didn't seem to steamroll the league as they did in 2018-2019 when the Bolts ran away with things with 128 points and an eye-popping +103 goal differential. Indeed, the Bolts were a very unboltslike 3-6-1 in their last 10 games of the regular season.
Tampa Bay is also hurting. Captain Steven Stamkos has been out since late February for a core muscle injury that required surgery and missed all of his team's round-robin games after suffering what Lightning general manager Julien BriseBois called a “new lower-body injury” Stamkos suffered during training camp in July. Defenseman Victor Hedman left the Lightning's 4-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers Saturday midway through the first period after twisting his ankle and did not return to the game.
That's a two-time Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy winner in Stamkos and the 2017-18 Norris Trophy winner in Hedman if you need to explain the “does that help the Blue Jackets” math to someone. Eight All-Star Game appearances between the two – if either or both are out for any stretch, the Lightning are not the Lightning fans outside of Columbus have come to fear.
The Blue Jackets and Lightning met just once during the regular season, a 2-1 overtime win for Tampa Bay in Columbus on February 10. The teams' had two meetings on the schedule before the regular season ended early.
|STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS: EASTERN CONFERENCE, 1st ROUND|
|GAME 1||TUESDAY, AUG. 11||@ TAMPA BAY||3 PM||FOX Sports Ohio/NBCSN|
|GAME 2||THURSDAY, AUG 13||@ TAMPA BAY||3 PM||FOX Sports Ohio/NBCSN|
|GAME 3||SATURDAY, AUG. 15||vs TAMPA BAY||7:30 PM||FOX Sports Ohio/NBCSN|
|GAME 4||MONDAY, AUG. 17||vs TAMPA BAY||3 PM||FOX Sports Ohio/NBCSN|
|GAME 5||WEDNESDAY, AUG. 19||@ TAMPA BAY||TBD||Fox Sports Ohio/TBD|
|GAME 6||FRIDAY, AUG. 21||vs. TAMPA BAY||TBD||Fox Sports Ohio/TBD|
|GAME 7||SATURDAY, AUG. 22||@ TAMPA BAY||TBD||Fox Sports Ohio/TBD|