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Greatest Games: Columbus Blue Jackets – Like A Bolt Of Lightning

Columbus shocked with Game 1 rally against mighty Tampa Bay en route to first playoff series win.

No. 1 – April 10, 2019 – Columbus 4, Tampa Bay 3

The Blue Jackets were down 3-0 to Tampa Bay just 20 minutes into Game 1 of their 2019 first-round series – pretty much exactly how the hockey world expected this playoff matchup to go. The Lightning had tied an NHL record for wins in the regular season. The Blue Jackets were the last team to qualify for the post-season. Would Tampa Bay even break a sweat in this series?

In the opening minute of the second period, Lightning snipers Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov were left alone in front of Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, who lunged to his left to stop a Kucherov shot. “If it gets to 4-0, we’re probably dead,” said Columbus coach John Tortorella.

But the Blue Jackets had life when captain Nick Foligno scored at 9:15 of the second period to make it 3-1. Slowly, the ice began to tilt in a worried Amalie Arena.

At 7:56 of the third, stay-at-home defenseman David Savard toe-dragged his way around Lightning star blueliner Victor Hedman and scored to make it 3-2. It’s the only goal of Savard’s playoff career and will probably stand as his career highlight.

The Blue Jackets faced a four-minute penalty kill midway through the third, but even that couldn’t slow their momentum – Josh Anderson scored shorthanded at 11:54 to tie it at 3-3. A few minutes later, Seth Jones gave Columbus its first lead of the game, a power-play goal to make it 4-3.

The most improbable win in franchise history got the Blue Jackets off and running to their first playoff series win. They swept Tampa Bay in one of the great first-round upsets in NHL history.

No. 2 – April 23, 2014 – Columbus 4, Pittsburgh 3 (OT)
Nick Foligno's OT goal stunned Pens after Blue Jackets recovered from early 3-0 deficit in Game 5. Brandon Dubinsky tied the game in the final minute.

No. 3 – April 8, 2009 – Columbus 4, Chicago 3
Even Blackhawks players tapped their sticks on the ice when the Blue Jackets clinched the franchise’s first playoff berth.

GREATEST INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE OF ALL-TIME

Rick Nash
March 7, 2009 – Columbus 8, Detroit 2
On Jan. 27, 2009, Nash had a memorable hat trick against Detroit – one goal on the power play, one shorthanded and one at even strength.

He was just warming up. Five weeks later, Nash scored an unassisted hat trick in an 8-2 rout of the Red Wings. According to the record book, only one other NHL player – Maurice ‘Rocket’ Richard in 1948 – has ever scored three goals with no assists, but that may have been aided by an official scorer’s error. Nash scored a shorthanded goal in the second period and added even-strength tallies in the third.

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