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game recap

Blue Jackets sweep Lightning in Game 4 for first playoff series victory

Eliminate Presidents' Trophy winners; Dubois has goal, two assists

by Craig Merz / Correspondent

Dubois buries carom off boards

TBL@CBJ, Gm4: Dubois backhands puck past Vasilevskiy

R1, Gm4: Pierre-Luc Dubois backhands a carom off the end boards into the net to give the Blue Jackets an early 2-0 lead

  • 00:55 •

COLUMBUS -- The Columbus Blue Jackets won a Stanley Cup Playoff series for the first time by defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning 7-3 in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference First Round at Nationwide Arena on Tuesday.

The Blue Jackets are the first team to sweep a Presidents' Trophy winner in the first round. It is the third time a Presidents' Trophy winner has been swept (Detroit Red Wings, 1995 Stanley Cup Final; Calgary Flames, 1988 Smythe Division Final).

"They're the ones that deserve it, the fans," forward Cam Atkinson said. "We're working our tails off, but they've been waiting for this moment a long time."


[WATCH: All Lightning vs. Blue Jackets highlights | Complete series coverage]


Columbus, which joined the NHL as expansion team for the 2000-01 season, is in the playoffs for the fifth time. It is 9-16, including 4-8 at home.

"I've been here seven years," captain Nick Foligno said. "There's people who've been around a lot longer than I have. This means so much to them.

"It's a great feeling, but it's only one round. There's three more to go."

Video: #ThirstForTheCup: Blue Jackets move on to Round 2

Pierre-Luc Dubois had a goal and two assists, and Alexandre Texier scored twice for the Blue Jackets, who will play the Boston Bruins or Toronto Maple Leafs in the second round. The Maple Leafs lead that best-of-7 series 2-1 with Game 4 at Toronto on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVAS, NESN).

The Blue Jackets are the 10th team in NHL history to win a playoff series against a team that had at least 30 more points in the regular season (128-98). Tampa Bay tied the NHL record with 62 wins this season (1995-96 Red Wings).

"We lost in the playoffs," Tampa Bay captain Steven Stamkos said. "If you don't accomplish your goal of winning it all, it's a failure. We don't care about what happened in the regular season.

"They were the better team. They executed their game plan. I don't know. I don't know what to say. If we had the answers, we would have found a way to win a game. It [stinks]."

Texier, in his sixth NHL game (fourth in the playoffs), scored his first playoff goal while on the power play at 2:26 of the first period for a 1-0 lead. 

Video: TBL@CBJ, Gm4: Texier snipes early power-play goal

Dubois made it 2-0 at 3:48 by stuffing the puck in at the right post after taking the puck off the end boards.

Stamkos cut it to 2-1 for Tampa Bay at 8:44. It was his first point of the series. 

Columbus had a goal disallowed at 12:23 after Tampa Bay challenged for offside.

Seth Jones extended the lead to 3-1 at 6:28 of the second period with a shot from the right circle.

Cedric Paquette made it 3-2 at 13:03 by redirecting a Braydon Coburn shot. 

Brayden Point tied it 3-3 on the power play with a backhand under the crossbar with 2:08 left.

Oliver Bjorkstrand gave Columbus a 4-3 lead, putting in a loose puck in the crease during a delayed penalty with 1:14 left.

Video: TBL@CBJ, Gm4: Bjorkstrand cleans up rebound in front

Artemi Panarin (1:53 left in the third period), Texier (1:34) and Matt Duchene (nine seconds) each scored an empty-net goal for the 7-3 final.

Sergei Bobrovsky made 30 saves for the Blue Jackets.

Andrei Vasilevskiy made 18 saves for the Lightning.

"Probably more disappointed more than anything," Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. "When you get to the playoffs, you've got to remember half the teams in the League won't, so everybody in the playoffs is good. 

"They've earned their way here. In today's game with parity, it's not unusual that an 8 beats a 1 anymore. Everybody is that close. In the end, it's just we just couldn't find our game. That was it. It had been with us all year, and for six days in April we couldn't find it. It's unfortunate because it puts a blemish on what was a [heck] of a regular season."

Video: TBL@CBJ, Gm4: Jackets, Lightning shake hands


They said it

"They outplayed us in a lot of aspects of that game the whole series. A bounce here, a bounce there and it's a different game. At the end of the day, it wasn't good enough from our team." -- Lightning forward Ryan Callahan

"I almost passed out on the bench. Everyone was jumping into each other. Someone cut me in the chin. Everyone was screaming." -- Blue Jackets forward Cam Atkinson on the reaction when Artemi Panarin made it 5-3

Video: TBL@CBJ, Gm4: Panarin extends lead with empty-netter


Need to know

Victor Hedman, who won the Norris Trophy last season as the best defenseman in the NHL, missed a second straight game for Tampa Bay with an undisclosed injury. … Columbus defensemen Adam McQuaid, Ryan Murray and Markus Nutivaara each did not play because of an upper-body injury. … The Blue Jackets were 5-for-10 on the power play in the series and 5-for-6 on the penalty kill.

Video: Clutch Performance: Bobrovsky helps Columbus advance


What's next 

Lightning: Season over

Blue Jackets: Game 1 of Eastern Conference Second Round at Boston Bruins or Toronto Maple Leafs (TBD)

Video: Blue Jackets complete stunning sweep of Lightning

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