The Wraparound: Lightning, Penguins looking to avoid sweeps

Sean Leahy
NBC Sports

The Wraparound is your daily look at the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. We’ll break down each day’s matchups with the all-important television and live streaming information included.

History tells us winning the Presidents’ Trophy doesn’t always lead to Stanley Cup success. Only eight winners of the trophy have gone on to win that elusive 16th playoff game, but the situation the Tampa Bay Lightning find themselves in? Well, that’s never happened.

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No Presidents’ Trophy winner has ever been swept in Round 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Only two — the 1995 Detroit Red Wings and 1987-88 Calgary Flames — were swept beyond the opening round.

“As far as I know, we’re playing Tuesday, right?” said Lightning coach Jon Cooper after their Game 3 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets. “So we’re still alive.”

The Lightning are out of losses to give as Game 4 (7 p.m. ET; CNBC; Live stream) approaches.

During their 3-1 loss Sunday night, Tampa outshot the Blue Jackets 17-8 in the third period, something Lightning players pointed to afterward, as to say they found ways to test Sergei Bobrovsky until time ultimately ran out. But game score effects — Columbus focusing on defensive — is probably the answer to why that happened.

Columbus might not be the only city tonight that will deliver us handshakes. The Pittsburgh Penguins also face a mountain to climb down 3-0 at home to the New York Islanders (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN; Live stream).

How big is that mountain? According to the NHL, teams that fall behind 3-0 in a best-of-seven series are 4-186 all-time. The 2013-14 Los Angeles Kings are the last NHL team to win four straight facing such a deficit when they did it against the San Jose Sharks.

To the cliches!

“We just have to worry about one game,” said Penguins captain Sidney Crosby after Game 3. “We just have to focus on winning Game 4. We haven’t left ourselves a lot of room for error, but all we can control is coming in with the right mindset for Game 4 and finding a way to get a win.”

The Penguins’ issues are deep. They cannot handle the Islanders’ aggressive forecheck and stars like Crosby and Jake Guentzel are pointless in the series. Pittsburgh has only led for a grand total of 3:17.

“Our guys, they care. They want to win,” said Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan. “They understand what it takes. So I’m not going to sit here and say they’re not buying in. Sometimes hockey, it becomes a game of mistakes sometimes. We just have to do a better job of limiting some of the ones we’re making. That’s all.”

[NBC 2019 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF HUB]

TODAY’S SCHEDULE

Game 4: Jets at Blues, 9:30 p.m. ET (Blues lead 2-1): Not happy with their desperation, the Blues are vowing a better performance tonight in hopes to taking a 3-1 series lead. Working in their favor is Jordan Binnington‘s stats in games following losses. After six losses this season, he’s 6-0-0 with a .935 save percentage. That’ll inspire some confidence in his teammates. (CNBC, Live stream)

Game 4: Sharks at Golden Knights, 10:30 p.m. ET (Golden Knights lead 2-1): No Joe Thornton, so might have to wait to get his response to the suspension and this comment from Ryan Reaves: “I’ve got a buddy with a grandpa who’s going through the same thing. He can’t see very well because he’s getting old. Needs glasses. If he gets suspended he’s going to have a hard time seeing from the press boy.” (NBCSN, Live stream)

WEDNESDAY’S SCHEDULE
Game 4: Bruins at Maple Leafs, 7 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Game 4: Predators at Stars, 8 p.m. ET (USA)
Game 4: Flames at Avalanche, 10 p.m. ET (NBCSN)

PHT’s 2019 Stanley Cup playoff previews
Capitals vs Hurricanes
Islanders vs. Penguins
Bruins vs. Maple Leafs
Lightning vs. Blue Jackets

Predators vs. Stars
Blues vs. Jets
Flames vs. Avalanche
Sharks vs. Golden Knights

Power Rankings: Why your team won’t win the Stanley Cup
• 
Roundtable: Goaltending issues, challenging the Lightning
NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs: Round 1 schedule, TV info

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

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