Lightning finish stellar homestand by beating Blue Jackets
Field Level Media
Dec 15, 2022
Brandon Hagel had two goals and an assist as the Tampa Bay Lightning closed out their longest homestand of the season with a 4-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night.
Scoring in his career-high-tying fifth straight game, Brayden Point notched the game-winning goal in the third period. Hagel put the game away with a pair of markers in the frame -- the second into an empty net -- for the Lightning as they won for the fifth time of the six-game homestand.
Hagel's two tallies gave him 10 for the season. Pierre-Edouard Bellemare found the net for the first time all season as the Lightning moved to 9-2-0 in their past 11 home tilts.
Nikita Kucherov had three assists and Victor Hedman handed out two. Goaltender Brian Elliott stopped 24 of 25 shots to go to 7-1-0.
Captain Steven Stamkos had his 14-game point streak come to an end.
Taking the ice for just the sixth time after offseason shoulder surgery, Anthony Cirelli skated in his 300th career game as Tampa Bay won for the 12th time in its past 15 games (12-3-0) and fourth straight overall.
The Blue Jackets' Kirill Marchenko scored a goal, and backup goalie Daniil Tarasov made 25 saves as Columbus lost its second straight game.
Tampa Bay won the first meeting 5-2 in Columbus on Oct. 14, and it set out right away for another victory -- getting the first tally from an unlikely source.
Hedman's sharp breakout pass found Vladislav Namestnikov through the neutral zone. The forward then slipped a clever dish back to Bellemare, who blistered his first marker past Tarasov at 3:57.
Two strong Columbus penalty kills, plus a brilliant save by Tarasov on Kucherov's shot in close on the first Lightning power play, kept the game 1-0 after 20 minutes.
After being shut out 4-0 against the Florida Panthers on Tuesday, the Blue Jackets finally found the net at 3:10 of the second. In just his sixth career game, Marchenko gathered a cross-ice pass from Cole Sillinger, fired a shot from the left dot and beat Elliott for his second marker.
Despite owning much of the territorial advantage in the second and part of the third, Columbus couldn't corral a loose puck. Point then put in the go-ahead marker at 9:02.
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