Lightning’s ouster prompts NHL to adjust playoff bracket challenge

For the first time, fans will be permitted to submit second-chance brackets following the first round of games.
Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh remains down on the ice with the puck in the net after Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Artemi Panarin scores an empty-net goal in the third period of Game 4. [DIRK SHADD | Times]
Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh remains down on the ice with the puck in the net after Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Artemi Panarin scores an empty-net goal in the third period of Game 4. [DIRK SHADD | Times]
Published April 18
Updated April 18

The Blue Jackets’ upset of the Lightning didn’t just shake up the NHL playoff picture.

It played havoc with the league’s playoff bracket challenge, too.

So much, in fact, that for the first time fans will be permitted to submit new brackets following the first round.

A grand prize of $100,000 remains available for initial entrants. Second-chance entrants will compete for a trip for two to the 2019-20 NHL event of their choice.

A total of 1.42 million early brackets were submitted. Fans predicted the winner of each series through the Stanley Cup final, as well as the number of games each first-round series would go.

Of the initial entrants, 48.62 percent picked the Lightning to win the Stanley Cup. The Calgary Flames — who trail the Colorado Avalanche 3-1 in their opening-round series — were second, with 7.22 percent of the vote. The Blue Jackets received the smallest percentage (0.43) of votes.

Brackets can be submitted here or via the NHL app until 6:59 p.m. before the first puck drops in the second round.

Initial fan selections to win the Stanley Cup:

Tampa Bay Lightning 48.62 percent

Calgary Flames 7.22

Boston Bruins 7.11

Washington Capitals 5.95

Nashville Predators 5.40

Pittsburgh Penguins 5.13

Winnipeg Jets 4.09

Toronto Maple Leafs 3.75

San Jose Sharks 3.58

St. Louis Blues 3.29

Vegas Golden Knights 2.58

New York Islanders 1.00

Dallas Stars 0.71

Colorado Avalanche 0.66

Carolina Hurricanes 0.47

Columbus Blue Jackets 0.43


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