Mon, 08 Mar 2021

Lightning trip up Blue Jackets in OT, stay unbeaten

Field Level Media
22 Jan 2021, 13:19 GMT+10

Brayden Point tipped in a pass from Victor Hedman in overtime as the Tampa Bay Lightning stayed perfect through three games with a 3-2 win over Columbus in the Blue Jackets' home opener on Thursday.

Hedman rushed out of his own end, started a give-and-go pass with Steven Stamkos and slid a pass to Point for the game winner in close at 1:56 into the 3-on-3 extra session.

Tampa Bay, which played just its third game after postponements against Dallas (COVID-19 protocol) on Sunday and Tuesday, received goals from Blake Coleman and Mathieu Joseph.

Ryan McDonagh assisted on both goals in regulation, giving him 301 points for his career. Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy moved to 3-0-0 by stopping 23 of 25 shots, including a 2-on-zero break in the first 24 seconds of overtime.

Playing in front of entirely empty stands in their first home game, Columbus got a goal and an assist from Oliver Bjorkstrand, and Nick Foligno netted on the power play.

Joonas Korpisalo made 34 saves on 37 shots for Columbus, which lost its second consecutive 3-2 overtime game.

The matchup marked the first meeting since the Lightning eliminated Columbus in six games in the Eastern Conference first round of the playoffs in September.

Max Domi helped put the home side up in the match's first 21 seconds, stripping the puck from Hedman in the neutral zone and quickly driving in on a 3-on-1 break with Bjorkstrand and Liam Foudy.

The second-line center then dished a pass to his right to Bjorkstrand, who fired in his second goal on the short side past Vasilevskiy's glove for a 1-0 lead.

Shots were 10-10 in the opening frame which featured hard contact along the boards, with the Stanley Cup champions meting out 11 hits to six by Columbus.

At 6:52 of the second, Korpisalo kept the one-goal lead with a brilliant glove save on a breakaway by the high-scoring Point, who chose to fire a 42-foot slapshot that the Finnish goalie snared.

But McDonagh fed helpers to Coleman -- just activated Thursday from the COVID list -- at 16:33 before finding Joseph wide open in front of Korpisalo and hitting him with a pass at 17:56 for a 2-1 lead.

Forty-seven seconds into the third, Foligno scored his second of the season just seven seconds into Columbus' second power play to tie it 2-2 after he won the faceoff from Barclay Goodrow.

--Field Level Media

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