Wednesday night’s contest between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Columbus Blue Jackets officially kicks off the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Tampa Bay has earned home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs after finishing atop the league standings during the regular season. Columbus, meanwhile, has been playing must-win games for the last two weeks of the regular season just to qualify for the postseason. Regardless of how they got here, both the Lightning and Blue Jackets have an opportunity to capture Lord Stanley, beginning with Wednesday’s Game 1 matchup.

Bet on hockey at Bodog and get a free 100% bonus.

While one may think that the Tampa Bay Lightning have been coasting after securing top spot in the NHL standings back in mid-March, incredibly, they didn’t slow down one bit. They finished the regular season winning 7 of 10 and didn’t rest any regulars. While they avoided injuries, we’ll have to wait and see if the Lightning experience any fatigue in the postseason.

If any team is at risk of fatigue it may be the Blue Jackets. They were playing desperation hockey all the way up to Game 81 of the regular season when they defeated the New York Rangers in a shootout to punch their postseason ticket. Unfortunately, they’re running into the best team in the NHL and have a monumental task on their hands if they hope to advance to Round 2. The puck drops on the playoffs in Tampa at 7:00 PM ET.

Get your NHL odds at Bodog today.