COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Tampa Bay Lightning ended up on the wrong side of NHL history, getting swept in the first round of the playoffs after one of the best regular seasons ever.
The Columbus Blue Jackets capped a stunning sweep of the Presidents Trophy winners with a 7-3 victory Tuesday night. Tampa Bay became the first team in the expansion era, which began in 1967-68, to go winless in the first round of the playoffs after leading the league in points during the regular season.
And what a season it was. Tampa Bay tied the NHL record for wins with 62 and amassed 128 points, fourth in NHL history.
The Blue Jackets, meanwhile, didn't clinch the second Eastern Conference wild-card spot until the 81st game. But they outplayed the Lightning with a smothering forecheck and stellar goaltending by Sergei Bobrovsky.
N.Y. Islanders 3, Pittsburgh 1: Jordan Eberle scored for the fourth straight game, Robin Lehner stopped 32 shots and New York finished off Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins with a clinical 3-1 win in Game 4 to pull off a stunning sweep.
Josh Bailey set up Brock Nelson's go-ahead goal late in the first period and added an empty-net score with 38 seconds remaining as the Islanders easily captured the franchise's second playoff series victory in 26 years.
The Islanders trailed for less than five minutes across four games against the Penguins, whose 13th straight postseason appearance ended quietly.
Carolina rookie out: A barrage of punches from Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin could have an impact on the Stanley Cup champions' playoff series against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Ovechkin floored Carolina rookie Andrei Svechnikov with a right hook during the first period of Monday night's 5-0 loss to the Hurricanes in Game 3 of their first-round series. The 19-year-old Svechnikov banged his helmet on the ice as he fell backward and ended up in concussion protocol. That left his status unclear with the Capitals up 2-1 in the best-of-seven series.
Cousins sidelined: DeMarcus Cousins has a torn left quadriceps muscle that will sideline the Golden State center indefinitely, a devastating injury that the Warriors feared was serious when he went down in the first quarter of their first-round playoff loss to the Clippers.
An MRI exam Tuesday morning on Cousins' left leg revealed the tear. The Warriors say Cousins will begin immediately on his rehabilitation and updates will be "provided as appropriate."
Coach Steve Kerr said after the Warriors' 135-131 Game 2 loss on Monday night that Cousins would be out for a significant period of time.
The Warriors made NBA history in the game as Lou Williams led the Clippers to the largest postseason comeback in NBA history. The visitors rallied from a 31-point deficit to win the game.
Toronto 111, Orlando 82: Kawhi Leonard scored 37 points, Kyle Lowry bounced back from a scoreless playoff opener with 22 and the Toronto Raptors routed the Orlando Magic, evening their Eastern Conference first-round series at one win apiece.
Pascal Siakam had 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Raptors, who never trailed and led by as many as 34.
Bears’ Miller retires: Chicago Bears tight end Zach Miller has decided to retire after nearly losing his left leg on a gruesome play two years ago.
Miller had nine surgeries to address his injuries after he dislocated his knee and tore an artery on a potential touchdown reception in New Orleans on Oct. 29, 2017. He had left open the possibility of playing again up until announcing his retirement on Tuesday.
Patriots sign Thomas: The Patriots have re-signed defensive back Jonathan Jones and signed receiver Demaryius Thomas.
In adding Thomas, the Patriots pick up a player who can potentially replace the output of Chris Hogan after he signed with the Carolina Panthers.
Thomas is a nine-year NFL veteran. He played eight full seasons in Denver, winning a Super Bowl ring with the Broncos during the 2015 season. He was traded to Houston last October and released in February.