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Lightning Given 4-1 Odds to Come Back From 3-0 Series Deficit & Advance

Andrei Vasilevskiy
Andrei Vasilevskiy and the Tampa Bay Lightning will seek to be the fifth team in NHL history to come back from a 3-0 series deficit. (Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire)
  • The Presidents’ Trophy-winning Tampa Bay Lightning are down 3-0 to the Columbus Blue Jackets in their opening-round Stanley Cup series
  • Just four teams have rallied from a 3-0 deficit to win a playoff series
  • No Presidents’ Trophy winner has ever been swept in the first round of the NHL playoffs

Have the Lightning struck out? Luckily, Tampa Bay is not a baseball team.

In baseball, it’s three strikes and your out but in the Stanley Cup playoffs, a team must lose four games in a series before they are sent packing.

Like a haggard contestant on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, the Lightning are down to their last lifeline. Trailing 3-0 to the Columbus Blue Jackets, Tampa Bay is poised to earn a place in Stanley Cup infamy.  No Presidents’ Trophy winner has ever been swept in the first round of the NHL playoffs.

Yet BetOnline is willing to maintain belief in Tampa Bay and continue to throw the Lightning that lifeline. The sportsbook lists the Bolts at +475 to win the series from Columbus.

Blue Jackets vs Lightning Playoff Series Odds

Team Odds to Win Series at BetOnline
Columbus Blue Jackets -600
Tampa Bay Lightning +475

*Odds taken on 04/15/19

The Pittsburgh Penguins won two of the last three Stanley Cups. The Pens are also down 3-0 to the New York Islanders. BetOnline puts them at +975 to win their series.

Tampa Bay is also given a better chance to win than Carolina. The Hurricanes are +500 to rally from a 2-0 deficit against the defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals.

History Will Be Made

The Lightning seek to join the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs, 1975 Islanders, 2010 Philadelphia Flyers, and 2014 Los Angeles Kings as the only NHL teams to rally from 3-0 down to win an NHL playoff series.

Interestingly, two of those teams, the Leafs and Kings, came all the way back to win the Stanley Cup. The Flyers lost in the Cup final. The Islanders were eliminated in the semifinals.

Blue Jackets Poised

Columbus will also be part of history if the Blue Jackets topple Tampa Bay. They’ve never won a playoff series. Last spring, they opened by winning the first two on the road from the Washington Capitals. The Caps roared back to win in six and won the Cup.

In 2012, the Kings were the first team to win the first three games of an opening-round playoff series from a Presidents’ Trophy winner against the Vancouver Canucks.

LA won that set in five games. The Kings captured the franchise’s first Stanley Cup that spring.

Lightning in Tough

Do the math and it just doesn’t add up for Tampa Bay. Through the 2018 playoffs, 188 teams had fallen behind 3-0 in a playoff series. Four came back to win. That’s 2.1%, or a 45-1 chance of it happening. Only 13% of teams facing this scenario manage to force a Game 7 (9-of-188).

The Lightning are going down in the annals among the greatest teams not to win the Cup. And they are doing so in epic fail fashion.

Pick: Columbus Blue Jackets (-600)

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