Blue Jackets face defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay in home opener

Sports

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The Blue Jackets’ home opener pits Columbus against defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay in a 7 p.m. showdown Thursday at Nationwide Arena. No fans will be in attendance for the game.

Last week, representatives with the team told NBC4 Sports Director Jerod Smalley they are working to put a plan together to get fans back at Nationwide Arena for future games.  

CBJ lost to the Lightning in the first round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs with Tampa Bay winning the series 4-1, including two overtime wins.

Game 1 was one of the longest playoff games in NHL history with the Blue Jackets losing 3-2 in the fifth overtime, the fourth-longest playoff game in NHL history and longest game in CBJ history.

CBJ is 1-2-1 this season with two losses to start the season against Nashville, a win over Detroit on Monday and an overtime loss to the Red Wings on Tuesday.

The Blue Jackets, known for their bruising style of defense, have allowed an uncharacteristic 13 goals through four games. They allowed four third-period goals in their second game against the Predators, with none of those being empty-netters.

CBJ’s offense has been underwhelming and inconsistent through four games as well, as pointed out by coach John Tortorella.

“The past couple games, right on through tonight [Tuesday], we just haven’t developed enough [offense]. It’s been sloppy,” Tortorella said. “We’ve just got to get ready to play our next game and find a way.”

Tale of the Tape

COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS

Goals:  2.00 Goals-For/3.25 Goals-Against Shots:  31.8 Shots-For/33.0 Shots-Against

Power Play:  0.0 percent (25th-T, NHL)   Penalty Kill:  88.9 percent (6th-T, NHL)

Penalty Minutes:  9.0 PIM (17th-T, NHL)  Overtime Record (Shootout):  0-1-0 (0-0)

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING

Record:  2-0-0, 4 pts. (1st-T, Discover Central Division)

Goals:  5.00 Goals-For/1.50 Goals-Against  Shots:  35.0 Shots-For/30.0 Shots-Against

Power Play:  28.6 percent (8th, NHL)  Penalty Kill:  71.4 percent (23rd-T, NHL)

Penalty Minutes:  7.0 PIM (7th , NHL)  Overtime Record (Shootout):  0-0-0 (0-0)

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