Blake Coleman scored two goals and Curtis McElhinney made 24 saves as the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets 3-1 on Thursday night at Amalie Arena.
Coleman put the Lightning on the board at the 14:51 mark of the 2nd period after the Lightning were trailing 1-0 and then put an exclamation point on the victory with an empty-net goal from his own zone with 24.8 seconds left to seal the deal for Tampa Bay.
It didn't start out pretty for the Bolts, with the Blue Jackets cashing in after a cross-checking call on Palat at the 8:57 mark of the 1st.
A point shot from Columbus defenseman Seth Jones at the 9:36 mark was deflected by the stick of Alex Killorn & past McElhinney to make it 1-0 just 39 seconds into the man-advantage.
The Lightning really struggled to close out the opening stanza, going the last 11:35 of play without registering a shot.
It didn't look much better in the 2nd as Tampa Bay had two power play opportunities in the period, but were only able to muster one shot on each of them.
Fortunately, Coleman's first goal put the teams tied at one apiece heading into the 3rd period.
And that's where the Lightning started to find their footing.
Erik Cernak came down the right wing and fired a shot on net that was stopped by Columbus netminder Elvis Merzlikins. Killorn quickly picked up the rebound and found Ondrej Palat, who snapped one quickly past Merzlikins to give the Lightning a 2-1 lead they would not relinquish.
Merzlikins stopped 25 of 28 shots in defeat.
- Columbus - PPG - Jones - (Bjorkstrand, Laine) - 9:36
- Tampa Bay - Coleman - (Gourde) - 14:51
- Tampa Bay - Palat - (Killorn, Cernak) - 8:14
- Tampa Bay - ENG - Coleman - (Unassisted) - 19:35
- Tampa Bay - Palat - (Cross Checking) - 8:57
- Columbus - Dunne - (Holding) - 2:48
- Columbus - Sherwood - (Roughing) - 7:55
- Columbus - Dunne - (Hooking) - 9:56
What's Next For The Bolts : The Lightning are back in action on Sunday night as they once again tussle with the Columbus Blue Jackets here at Amalie Arena. Puck drop is slated for 7:00pm with the pregame show starting at 6:00pm on NewsRadio WFLA.
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