Oliver Bjorkstrand, David Savard and Cam Atkinson each scored, and Elvis Merzlikins made 37 saves as the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-1 on Tuesday night at Amalie Arena.
The Bolts outshot the Jackets 38-21, but they were only able to get one past Merzlikins, a Mathieu Joseph goal in the 3rd period.
Even that goal wasn't a thing of beauty.
It was a Luke Schenn shot from the point that deflected off of the leg of Joseph, then the back of Columbus defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov before getting past Merzlikins to make the game 2-1 at the time.
The Blue Jackets got on the board first when Bjorkstrand tipped in a point shot from Zach Werenski at the 10:49 mark of the 2nd period.
Columbus then made it 2-0 with 32 seconds left in the period on a delayed penalty when Savard scored about a minute after being held up by Tampa Bay winger Patrick Maroon.
Atkinson added the empty netter with 91 seconds left to seal the deal for Columbus.
A scary moment with just under six minutes elapsed in the second period as Victor Hedman was tripped up by a sliding Mikko Lehtonen. The Lightning star had trouble putting any kind of weight on his right leg and had to be helped off the ice by the captain Steven Stamkos, but he returned after missing only one shift to cheers from the Amalie Arena faithful.
Unfortunately, he wasn't the only Tampa Bay blueliner who got banged up.
Jan Rutta left early in the 2nd period with a lower body injury and did not return to the game.
Neither team scored or took a penalty in the first, with the closest thing to a score, being a post hit by Lightning captain Steven Stamkos and a crossbar hit by Columbus defenseman Zach Werenski.
Curtis McElhinney got the start for the Bolts between the pipes and stopped 18 of the 20 shots he saw on the evening.
- Columbus - Bjorkstrand - (Werenski, Roslovic) - 10:49
- Columbus - Savard - (Texier, Foligno) - 19:28
- Tampa Bay - Joseph - (Schenn, Borgman) - 4:12
- Columbus - ENG - Atkinson - (Foligno) - 18:29
- Columbus - Gavrikov - (Tripping) - 2:15
What's Next For The Bolts : The Lightning are back in action on Thursday night as they once again take on the Columbus Blue Jackets. Puck drop is slated for 7:00pm, with the pregame starting at 6:00pm on NewsRadio WFLA.