Columbus Blue Jackets Tampa Bay Lightning
AP Photo

The New York Rangers have officially lost a first-round opportunity now that the Tampa Bay Lightning are eliminated.

The Columbus Blue Jackets came up with the first big upset in the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs by sweeping the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Lightning might have had Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos, but that didn’t stop the Blue Jackets from playing their game. It was a game filled with smart defense, scoring when the opportunity presented itself, and strong goaltending from Sergei Bobrovsky.  

The Blue Jackets won Game 4 by the final of 7-3, sending the Lightning back to Tampa Bay and simultaneously shocking the NHL world.

The New York Rangers had a lot riding on the Tampa Bay Lightning. If Tampa Bay won the Stanley Cup, the Blueshirts would have received their first round draft pick, which was part of the trade that sent Ryan McDonagh and J.T. Miller to the Lightning last season.

Instead, they will have to settle for Tampa Bay’s second-round pick in this year’s draft. The Rangers will now have 11 picks in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. 

The Jackets will now have to wait until the conclusion of the Boston Bruins vs. Toronto Maple leafs winner. Currently, the Maple Leafs leads that series two games to one.

In another semi-upset, the New York Islanders swept the Pittsburgh Penguins by taking Game 4 in Pittsburgh. The Islanders will face the winner of the Washington Capitals-Carolina Hurricanes series (Caps carry a 2-1 game lead).

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A graduate of St. John's University class of '91. I have been a fan of the New York Rangers since the days of Peter Puck. Founder of Ranger Proud, the Facebook page that covers all news, notes, pre /post-game stats, and player quotes. I can be reached at