Brandon Hagel scored two goals and Brian Elliott made 24 saves as the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-1 on Thursday night at Amalie Arena to wrap up a six-game homestand where Tampa Bay went 5-1.
Pierre-Edouard Bellemare & Brayden Point also scored for the Lightning, Nikita Kucherov had three assists and Elliott picked up his seventh straight win in net for the Bolts.
The final goal of the night was a pure act of unselfishness as Kucherov pulled up in front of an empty Blue Jackets net and fed it to his linemate Hagel for his second tally of the night.
Bellemare opened the scoring at 16:03 of the 1st with his first goal of the season.
It looked like Tampa Bay was going to extend their lead on the power play after a hooking call on Kent Johnson just a few minutes later, but Columbus netminder Daniil Tarasov made a brilliant save on Kucherov to keep the game 1-0.
From there, the game fell into a little bit of a lull and neither team was able to do much until Blue Jackets winger Kirill Marchenko scored at 3:10 of the 2nd period to tie things up.
Then about midway through the 3rd, the Lightning turned up the heat and never looked back.
Point scored at 9:02 to give Tampa Bay the lead, his fifth straight game with a goal.
Hagel picked up his ninth of the season, snapping one past Tarasov at 13:36, and then his empty-netter sealed the deal at 17:19.
The Lightning now hit the road for a four game trip with stops in Montreal, Toronto, Detroit and Buffalo.
Tarasov made 25 saves in net for Columbus.
- Tampa Bay - Bellemare - (Namestnikov, Hedman) - 3:57
- Columbus - Marchenko - (Sillinger, Gudbranson) - 3:10
- Tampa Bay - Point - (Hagel, Kucherov) - 9:02
- Tampa Bay - Hagel - (Kucherov, Hedman) - 13:36
- Tampa Bay - Hagel (2) - (Kucherov, Cole) - 17:19
- Columbus - Johnson - (Hooking) - 9:02
- Tampa Bay - Perry - (Holding) - 10:56
- Columbus - Berni - (Hooking) - 13:44
- Columbus - Christiansen - (Hooking) - 17:33
What's Next For the Bolts : The Lightning are back in action on Saturday night as they travel up to Montreal to take on the Canadiens. Puck drop is slated for 7:00pm.
PHOTO : Getty Images