The Boston Bruins were expected to reach the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs, but the opponent many people predicted the Original Six club would face is not here.
Nope, the Tampa Bay Lightning are home for the summer. Instead, it's the Columbus Blue Jackets coming to Boston for Game 1 of Round 2 on Thursday night. The Blue Jackets swept the Presidents' Trophy-winning Lightning in one of the most stunning playoff upsets in recent sports history.
The Blue Jackets are in the second round for the first time in team history. The Bruins made it this far in 2018 but were eliminated by the Lightning in five games.
Here are some fast facts to know for the upcoming Bruins-Blue Jackets playoff matchup.
How they got here: The Bruins overcame series deficits of 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 to eliminate the Toronto Maple Leafs in a first-round Game 7 for the third time this decade. The Blue Jackets, as noted above, shocked the hockey world by sweeping the Lightning.
Home cooking: The Bruins will have home ice advantage in this series and the rest of the playoffs. The Blue Jackets didn't have home ice advantage in Round 1 but won the first two games in Tampa Bay en route to their sweep. In fact, Columbus' 25 road wins in the regular season was the second-highest total in the league behind the Lightning.
Head-to-head: The B's and Blue Jackets met three times in the regular season, with Boston winning twice.
Tuesday, March 12 at Columbus: CBJ wins 7-4
Saturday, March 16 at Boston: B's win 2-1 in OT
Tuesday, April 2 at Columbus: B's win 6-2
This will be the first ever playoff matchup between these teams.
Goaltender matchup: B's goalie Tuukka Rask has a 9-4-2 record with a .904 save and a 2.74 GAA in his career against the Blue Jackets. Columbus netminder Sergei Bobrovsky has a 3-6-2 record with a .889 save percentage and a 3.90 GAA all-time versus Boston.
Rask finished the first-round series against Toronto with a .928 save percentage. Bobrovsky tallied a .932 save percentage in four games versus Tampa Bay.
Stat breakdown: Here's how these teams compare in notable stats from the regular season (NHL rank in parenthesis).
BOS: 3.13 (11th)
CBJ: 3.12 (12th)
BOS: 2.59 (3rd)
CBJ: 2.82 (11th)
BOS: 25.9 (3rd)
CBJ: 15.4 (28th)
BOS: 79.9 (16th)
CBJ: 85.0 (2nd)
Here's how they compare through the first round
BOS: 43.8 (7/16)
CBJ: 50 (5/10)
BOS: 84.2 (16/19)
CBJ: 83.3 (5/6)
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