Blue Jackets surprise top seed Lightning in first game of NHL playoffs
|Toronto Star 10 Apr 2019 at 20:32|
TAMPA, FLA.â€”Seth Jones scored the go-ahead goal on the power play to cap Columbusâ€™ three-goal third period, and the Blue Jackets rallied to beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 in Game 1 of the teamsâ€™ first-round Eastern Conference playoff series Wednesday night.
Jones made it 4-3 from the slot with 5:55 to play as the Blue Jackets erased a 3-0 deficit after the Lightning scored three times in the opening period.
Tampa Bayâ€™s Dan Girardi defends against Boone Jenner of Columbus in the second period of their playoff opener Wednesday night. The Blue Jackets surprised the Lightning, the regular-season champions, with a 4-3 win in Tampa, Fla.Â Â (Mike Carlson / GETTY IMAGES)
With Columbus trailing 3-1 in the third, David Savard deked around Lightning defenceman Victor Hedman and scored 7:56 into the period to make it a one-goal game. Josh Anderson picked up a short-handed goal that tied it at 3 at 11:54.
Nick Foligno had the other goal for Columbus, and Sergei Bobrovsky ended up with 26 saves after struggling in the first period.
The Lightning, who matched the 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings for the most wins in a regular season with 62, got first-period goals from Alex Killorn, Anthony Cirelli and Yanni Gourde. Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 22 shots.
Hedman returned after missing the final four regular-season game with an upper-body injury. The Norris Trophy winner took a helmet to the face during a collision with Washingtonâ€™s Carl Hagelin on March 30.
Killorn stole the puck from Jones at the blue line during a power play for Columbus and put a backhander past Bobrovsky to open the scoring 4:12 into the game. Tampa Bay was tied for third in short-handed goals during the regular season with 12.
After Cirelli had a rebound goal at 11:01, Gourdeâ€™s waist-high deflection of Mikhail Sergachevâ€™s shot made it 3-0 with 2:10 left in the first.
Foligno cut the deficit to 3-1 at 9:15 of the second on a breakaway goal after Tampa Bayâ€™s Ryan McDonagh made an errant pass in the offensive zone.
Vasilevskiy made a strong save on Matt Duchene during a 2-on-1 two minutes after Folignoâ€™s goal.
Alexandre Texier, Columbusâ€™s 19-year-old rookie who played in the Blue Jacketsâ€™ final two regular-season games, skated in alone on Vasilevskiy but missed the net on a shot with four minutes to go in the first.
Bobrovsky stopped four shots over the final 40 seconds of the second, including a nifty glove save on Steven Stamkos.
Nikita Kucherov, who had an NHL-best 128 points in the regular season, was held without a point but had an in-close chance turned aside by Bobrovsky and hit the crossbar during the opening minute of the second during a power play.