Lightning hold off Jackets, take 2-1 series lead
Aug 15, 2020
Brayden Point scored the go-ahead goal in a decisive second period, and the Tampa Bay Lightning killed off all four power plays, including a lengthy five-on-three, in Saturday night's 3-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets in Toronto.
The victory gives the second-seeded Lightning a 2-1 lead over the No. 7 Blue Jackets in the best-of-seven series in the first round of the Eastern Conference. Game 4 is scheduled for Monday afternoon.
Tampa Bay's Alex Killorn and Victor Hedman also scored, and goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 15 shots -- facing just seven over the final two periods.
Riley Nash and Eric Robinson netted goals, Nash added a helper and netminder Joonas Korpisalo made 31 saves for the Blue Jackets.
Columbus was without forwards Cam Atkinson and Nathan Gerbe for the second straight game, and Carter Verhaeghe made his postseason debut by drawing into Tampa Bay's fourth line.
The Blue Jackets scored first-period power-play goals in each of the first two games and had an early chance in Game 3 when Pat Maroon was called for roughing. But Tampa Bay held Columbus to just one shot on the early kill.
Zach Bogosian (tripping) and Blake Coleman (slashing) went off 34 seconds apart, giving Columbus 1:26 of five-on-three power-play time. The Jackets put up six shots on Vasilevskiy but failed to beat the Vezina Trophy finalist.
Following the strong three penalty kills, Anthony Cirelli fed Killorn through the neutral zone, sparking a two-on-one rush. Killorn tallied his second postseason goal with a backhander at 15:48 for a 1-0 lead.
Just 1:49 into the second, Nash buried a clean look from the left circle over Vasilevskiy's glove to knot it 1-1 -- his second career playoff goal and first point this postseason.
But Point chipped in a rebound of Ryan McDonagh's shot that struck Korpisalo's shoulder for a 2-1 lead at 14:16. The shot was Tampa Bay's 11th consecutive after Nash's tying goal.
Verhaeghe forced a turnover at center ice and soon ended a rush by firing the puck to Hedman, who beat Korpisalo from the high slot to make it 3-1 at 18:53 of a second period that saw the Lightning outshoot Columbus 16-4.
Robinson scored his first career playoff goal from the left circle 1:37 into the third -- one of just three team shots in the period -- but Vasilevskiy and the Lightning defense held on with the Columbus net empty and an attacker on the ice over the final 90 seconds.
--Field Level Media