What a night it was in Nationwide Arena. The Blue Jackets, for the first time in franchise history, won a playoff series, completing a shocking four game sweep of Tampa Bay with a 7-3 win. The Lightning tied a league record with 62 wins and outscored Columbus 17-3 in sweeping their three regular season match-ups. That's why the series sweep not only made franchise history, it made NHL history. The CBJ become the first team ever to sweep the Presidents' Trophy winners out of the playoffs in the first round. They're also only the fourth team in the history of the league to sweep the regular season's top seed in any round of the playoffs and perhaps, this is just the beginning.
While no one had ever swept the best team in the league, six others have upset the Presidents' Trophy winners in round one. The Jackets became the seventh to do it and of the other six, three of them went on to reach the Stanley Cup Final including the 2012 LA Kings who won it all. Maybe--just maybe--this is the beginning of a special playoff run.
Some other tidbits regarding the Jackets sweep.
**The Blue Jackets trailed Tampa Bay 3-0 after the first period of game one, but over the final 11 periods of the series, the CBJ outscored the Lightning 19-5. In fact the Jackets were not outscored by Tampa in a single period the rest of the series.
**Tampa Bay lost only three games to Metropolitan Division teams this season (21-3). They lost four straight to the Jackets in the span of six days.
**When Seth Jones scored with 5:55 left in game one to give the Jackets a 4-3 lead, the CBJ never trailed again the rest of the series. The Jackets were either tied or led the final 193 minutes. The latest Tampa Bay was tied with the CBJ was in game four when Brayden Point's power play goal evened the game at 3 with 2:08 left in the second period but the CBJ responded immediately as Oliver Bjorkstrand stuffed in the go-ahead goal only 54 seconds later. The Jackets then held the lead the rest of the game and put it away with three empty net goals in the final two minutes.
**Special Teams were huge for the Jackets, who scored a power play goal in every game in the series.
**19-year old Alexandre Texier scored the first goal of the night in game four becoming the youngest player in Jacket history to score a playoff goal. Pierre-Luc Dubois scored the second goal--his first of the series. Texier and Dubois became the 11th and 12th different Blue Jacket player to score goals in the series. According to the NHL, the Jackets are just the second team in the last 28 years to have 12 different players score goals in a four game series.
**The seven goals in game four are the most in a single game in Jackets playoff history.
**Sergei Bobrovsky is rewriting his playoff narrative. Coming into the series he had never had a playoff game in which he allowed fewer than 3 goals. He had two such games in this series, had a goals against average of 2.0, a save percentage of .932 and stopped 99 of the last 104 shots he faced.
**Artemi Panarin scored the series clinching goal, an empty netter with 1:53 left. Texier and Matt Duchene added empty netters after that to inflate the final score of game four to 7-3. Duchene's goal was his third in as many games. The trade deadline acquisition was huge in the series, leading the Jackets with 3 goals and 4 assists.
Here are a few highlights and interviews from a historic night in Nationwide.