Tampa Bay Lightning

2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs schedule: Lightning, Penguins try to avoid sweeps

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2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs schedule: Lightning, Penguins try to avoid sweeps

Two teams are in surprising spots Tuesday night as the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs continue.

The Lightning, who matched the NHL record for most wins in a regular season with 62, are tying to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Blue Jackets. The Penguins, who have won two of the last three Stanley Cups, are in the same spot — looking to avoid a sweep against the Islanders. 

Below is the full schedule for Day 7 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. You can watch the entire playoffs on the networks of NBC.

Tampa Bay Lightning at Columbus Blue Jackets (3-0 CBJ)
Game 4, Eastern Conference first round
7 p.m. ET | TV: CNBC | Live stream here

New York Islanders at Pittsburgh Penguins (3-0 NYI)
Game 4, Eastern Conference first round
7:30 p.m. ET | TV: NBCSN | Live stream here

Winnipeg Jets at St. Louis Blues (2-1 STL)
Game 4, Western Conference first round
9:30 p.m. ET | TV: CNBC | Live stream here

San Jose Sharks at Vegas Golden Knights (2-1 VGK)
Game 4, Western Conference first round
10:30 p.m. ET | TV: NBCSN | Live stream here

2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs schedule: More upsets in store on Day 3?

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USA Today Images

2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs schedule: More upsets in store on Day 3?

The Lightning and Jets will look to regain their footing on home ice Friday night after dropping their respective Game 1s.

NHL-best Tampa Bay blew a 3-0 lead in Game 1 as the Blue Jackets stormed back for a 4-3 win, while Winnipeg surrendered a pair of third-period goals to the Blues, who picked up a 2-1 Game 1 win.

Game 2s are series-shifting matchups. There are four Friday night.

Below is the full schedule for Day 3 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. You can watch the entire playoffs on the networks of NBC. 

Columbus Blue Jackets at Tampa Bay Lightning (1-0 CBJ)
Game 2, Eastern Conference first round
7:00 p.m. ET | TV: CNBC | Live stream here

Pittsburgh Penguins at New York Islanders (1-0 NYI)
Game 2, Eastern Conference first round
7:30 p.m. ET | TV: NBCSN | Live stream here

St. Louis Blues at Winnipeg Jets (1-0 STL)
Game 2, Western Conference first round
9:30 p.m. ET | TV: CNBC | Live stream here

Vegas Golden Knights at San Jose Sharks (1-0 SJS)
Game 2, Western Conference first round
10:30 p.m. ET | TV: NBCSN | Live stream here

Should latest loss to Lightning sway Flyers' trade deadline decisions?

Should latest loss to Lightning sway Flyers' trade deadline decisions?

The Tampa Bay Lightning are loaded, like Wall Street billionaire loaded, with the Allen Iverson attitude that they would like to add one more sports car to the driveway.

Maybe Wayne Simmonds is that muscle car that ensures the Lightning’s first Stanley Cup in 15 years. They’ve been eyeballing the Flyers' power forward for several weeks now, and whether they give Chuck Fletcher the package he’s looking for probably doesn’t matter.

This Tampa team may very well be the most complete team the NHL has witnessed during the salary cap era. The Lightning topped the 90-point mark before any other team in the league even reached 80 points. 

In fact, the 1979-80 Flyers team made it to 90 points just one game faster than the 2018-19 Lightning, and that was aided with a 35-game unbeaten streak. 

Tuesday night at the Wells Fargo Center, the Lightning dismantled one of the hottest teams in the NHL with a red-hot rookie goaltender. Tampa Bay scored three goals in the first 10½ minutes to hand Carter Hart and the Flyers a 5-2 loss (see observations).

“We didn’t show up on time,” Sean Couturier said. “They were all over us in the first period. We got caught in our end. We didn’t win some battles. They made us turn the puck over a lot. You can’t do that against that team. They’re too skilled and they’ll make you pay.”

They made the Flyers pay dearly even without Norris Trophy-winning defenseman Victor Hedman, No. 1 goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy and second-leading scorer Brayden Point.

And the NHL’s leading scorer Nikita Kucherov didn’t even register a point as the Flyers simply made it look too easy for the Lightning.

“Turnovers, a lot of turnovers,” interim head coach Scott Gordon said. “We didn’t give Carter a chance tonight.”

They didn’t give Calvin Pickard much of a chance on Nov. 17 or Michal Neuvirth on Dec. 27 as Tampa Bay scored at least five goals in each game, completing a three-game regular-season sweep of the Flyers.

Not long after Gordon pulled Hart, who faced the Lightning for the first time in his brief career, the head coach gave the 20-year-old rookie a little pep talk, mentioning that this game wasn’t necessarily a byproduct of his poor play.

“He just kind of said, ‘It’s not all on you,’ but three goals on nine shots, some of that is on me, too,” Hart said. “I've got to be better. It sucks right now but games like these happen.”

Despite the loss, the Flyers didn’t lose any ground in their pursuit of a wild-card berth, still six points off the pace as they face the Canadiens in Montreal on Thursday.

But, in all likelihood, what we saw Tuesday night would be the Flyers' reward of sneaking into the postseason.

Facing this Lightning team in the first round would be a monumental task, which should make Fletcher’s trade deadline decisions that much easier.

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