Tampa Bay Lightning at Columbus Blue Jackets – NHL April 8

Lightning (26-11-2, 56 points) at Blue Jackets (15-18-8, 38 points)

  • Time: 4PM PST – 6PM CST – 7PM EST
  • Place: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, OH
  • TV: Bally Sports Florida | Bally Sports Ohio | NHL Center Ice

The Puck Drop

Columbus and Tampa Bay meet on the second game of the back-to-back after the Blue Jackets defeated the Lightning, 4-2, on Tuesday evening.

The Lightning sits at 2-3-0 vs. the Blue Jackets this season as this is the fourth game in a 10-day span as Columbus visited Tampa Bay back on March 30 and April 1.

The Bolts are on the second game of a four-game road trip as they have lost three in a row on the road and five out of the last seven as their vaunted offense has struggled during this time period.

The Blue Jackets are concluding a stretch of 10 games in 12 days against the top three teams in the Central Division in Florida, Tampa Bay, and Carolina. Columbus is 4-7-3 during that stretch.

Key Injuries

  • Tampa Bay LightningErik Cernak (Lower Body) – OUT | Nikita Kucherov (Hip) – OUT – could be back for playoffs | Anders Nilsson (Concussion) – IR | Jan Rutta (Lower Body) – IR
  • Columbus Blue JacketsRiley Nash (Lower Body) – OUT | Emil Bemstrom (Lower Boyd) – OUT

Lightning (29-21-1 ATS):

  • The total has gone OVER in 8 of Tampa Bay’s last 9 road games
  • The UNDER has been the play in 13 of the last 19 games between the Lightning and Blue Jackets in Columbus
  • Tampa Bay is 2-5 SU in it’s last 7 vs. the Central Division.

Blue Jackets (24-27 ATS):

  • The total has got UNDER in 9 of the last 12 Columbus Blue Jackets’ games
  • The Jackets are 2-7 SU in their last 9 outings
  • The total has gone UNDER in 5 of the Blue Jackets’ last 7 games this season

Last Time Out

Columbus took a 4-2 win as the Blue Jackets won for the third time in five meetings against the Lightning. Max Domi and Nick Foligno broke the game open in the third period as they scored a pair of goals to give Columbus a 4-0 lead at 13:30. Domi’s goal was a power-play marker at 6:08. Ross Colton and Luke Schenn scored late in the third for the Lightning.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Lightning -1½ (+125) -206 O 5½(-110)
Blue Jackets +1½ (-145) +185 U 5½ (-110)

Lightning On Offense

Tampa Bay Lightning LogoDespite the offensive struggles of lat Tampa Bay is still one of the top offensive teams in the NHL with 131 goals (3rd) as Brayden Point and Steven Stamkos as the top goals scorers with 16 each while defenseman Victor Hedman lead the Lightning with 36 points (7goals, 29 assists). Winger Ondrej Palat has had a solid season with 11 even-strength goals which is second to Point’s 12. Tampa Bay has averaged only 2.1 goals per game in losing those five of seven.

Lightning Special Teams:

The power play continues to be a head-scratcher as Tampa Bay has only one conversion in it’s last 18 chances over it’s last seven games. Point made that power play conversion in a 3-2 win over Columbus back on April 1. The Lightning has a penalty kill percentage of 81.7 which is 10th in the NHL and it is 4-of-6 in the last four games. Six games ago, the Lightning took six penalties in a 4-3 loss to the Hurricanes and allowed two power play goals.

Blue Jackets On Offense

Columbus Blue Jackets LogoThe Blue Jackets are paced by a pair of wingers in Oliver Bjorkstrand and Cam Atkinson who have 14 and 13 goals. Bjorkstrand teams with center Jack Roslovic and Seth Jones for 17 assists apiece and Bjorkstrand leads Columbus with 12 even strength markers. The Blue Jackets only have 100 goals this season (23rd/NHL).

Blue Jackets Special Teams:

The Columbus power play has been silent as Max Domi’s goal two nights ago was the first power play goal since a 4-3 loss to Carolina on March 25. Columbus went for five games with no scores off the power play and only six opportunities. Patrick Laine has four power play goals while Cam Atkinson has six helpers with the man-advantage. Tampa Bay is 18-of-19 on the penalty kill since a 5-4 loss to Florida on March 11.


Jonas Korpisolo picked up his ninth win of the season and his first in four games on Tuesday as he saved 36 of 38 shots by the Lightning. He has a 2.99 goals-against average this season as the Blue Jackets tally 131 scores for opponents (27th/NHL).

Andrei Vasilevskiy continues to be the premiere net-minder in the sport as his 2.00 goals-against average is on pace to set a personal low in that number. He checks in at 23-6-3 as his 93.1 save percentage ties Florida’s Chris Driedger for the NHL lead.

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Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.