Lightning, Penguins Find Themselves In Early 0-2 Holes

Jackets Cannon.jpgPhoto: Jackets Cannon

The Tampa Bay Lightning, who tied the NHL record with 62 wins in the regular season, and the Pittsburgh Penguins, who have won two of the past three Stanley Cups, were among favorites to advance far in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, but through two games of their respective first-round series, both teams have fallen into 0-2 holes. Teams have gone up 2-0 in a best of seven series 401 times and have come back to win the series 51 times (12.7% of the time), according to

The Lightning looked unbeatable when they roared to a 3-0 first-period lead in Game 1 against the Columbus Blue Jackets, only to see the Blue Jackets ride a three-goal third period to take the first contest. It was the Lightning’s first loss when leading by at least three goals since a 5-3 road loss to the Washington Capitals on December 18, 2015.

Two nights later, it was the Blue Jackets who stormed out to a 3-0 lead in the second period, but unlike the Lightning, Columbus never looked back. Defenseman Mikhail Sergachev cut the lead to two goals five minutes into the third, but the Blue Jackets added two more goals to blow out the Presidents’ Trophy winners by a 5-1 final. They now head back to Columbus with a 2-0 series lead. Hmmm… sounds familiar.

On Long Island, the Penguins never held a lead in Wednesday’s Game 1, though the match with New York featuring three ties. The Islanders won 4-3 in overtime on a goal by forward Josh Bailey.

During Friday’s Game 2, the Penguins opened the scoring but could not hold the lead. The Islanders responded with three unanswered goals, starting with forward Anthony Beauvillier’s goal with 6:35 remaining in the second to tie the game. Forward Jordan Eberle and Bailey added third-period goals to lead the Islanders to a 3-1 win and a 2-0 series lead.

The 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs are already full of surprises. Should these two series continue their current trajectories, it will set up a very interesting path to the Cup for the Capitals in their quest for back-to-back Stanley Cup wins. Before they can think about that, the Capitals will need to win three of the next six games against the Carolina Hurricanes in their first-round series.

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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4 Responses to Lightning, Penguins Find Themselves In Early 0-2 Holes

  1. Day One Caps Fan says:

    Caps were lucky in Game One. Better effort required tonight

  2. Anonymous says:

    The NYIs I probably couldve seen bc Trotz and his 1-3-1 defensive system we know 1st hand from the cup run last year and hes used the same system with a bunch of mostly misfit players and a couple of decently skilled players like Barzal,Eberle,A.Lee to get them here. That system aint fun to play against we saw this year every game was boring and 2-1, 3-2 type games bc they suck the life outta you by taking away the middle&neutral zone. Thats not shocking.

    Now the Bolts down 2 is little bit more just bc most believed atleast nationally in hockey world Bolts would roll Jackets in 4-5 games, but give Torts and the Jackets credit after the shaky 1st period of game 1 spotting Bolts 3 letting them skate up and down the ice. Jackets since then have outscored Bolts 9-1 and followed Caps blueprint on beating the bolts. That is smash them&frustrate them via good defense and its working 2nd year in a row bc Bolts are a finesse team. They dont have any Tom Wilsons, Oshies,Ovs, Josh Andersons, Boon Jenners,Falignos.. just high octane skater skill types

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