Lightning open playoff series against the Blue Jackets
Columbus Blue Jackets (47-31-4, fifth in the Metropolitan Division during the regular season) vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (62-16-4, first in the Atlantic Division during the regular season)
Tampa, Florida; Wednesday, 7 p.m. EDT
EASTERN CONFERENCE FIRST ROUND: Tampa Bay hosts series opener
BOTTOM LINE: The Tampa Bay Lightning host the Columbus Blue Jackets to start the Eastern Conference first round.
The Lightning are 32-7-2 on their home ice. Tampa Bay averages 10.6 points per game to lead the Eastern Conference, recording 3.9 goals and 6.7 assists per game.
The Blue Jackets are 25-14-2 on the road. Columbus has given up 30 power-play goals, killing 85 percent of opponent chances. The teams meet Wednesday for the fourth time this season. Tampa Bay went 3-0 against Columbus during the regular season.
TOP PERFORMERS: Nikita Kucherov leads the Lightning with 128 total points, scoring 41 goals and registering 87 assists. J.T. Miller has recorded nine assists over the last 10 games for Tampa Bay.
Josh Anderson leads the Blue Jackets with a plus-25 in 82 games played this season. Artemi Panarin has totaled three goals and nine assists over the last 10 games for Columbus.
LAST 10 GAMES: Blue Jackets: 7-3-0, averaging 3.7 goals, 5.3 assists, 1.4 penalties and 3.1 penalty minutes while giving up 2.1 goals per game with a .923 save percentage.
Lightning: 7-3-0, averaging 4.2 goals, 6.3 assists, 4.2 penalties and 11.2 penalty minutes while giving up 3.2 goals per game with a .902 save percentage.
Lightning Injuries: Anton Stralman: day to day (undisclosed), Victor Hedman: day to day (upper body).
Blue Jackets Injuries: None listed.