Mon, 28 Sep 2020

Bjorkstrand, Blue Jackets too strong for Lightning

Field Level Media
14 Aug 2020, 08:19 GMT+10

Oliver Bjorkstrand scored the go-ahead goal late in the first period to lift the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 3-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference first-round series in Toronto.

Defenseman Ryan Murray and Alexander Wennberg also scored and Pierre-Luc Dubois had two assists for the Blue Jackets, who evened the series at one victory apiece.

The Lightning had a 37-22 shots advantage, yet were short on quality scoring chances thanks to a signature Columbus defensive effort. The Blue Jackets deployed their customary game plan of controlling the middle of the ice.

Following his NHL record 85-save performance in a five-overtime marathon in Game 1, Columbus goaltender Joonas Korpisalo delivered another big performance on Thursday. Korpisalo turned aside 36 shots, including a big save on Blake Coleman in the final five minutes of play.

Reigning Hart Trophy recipient Nikita Kucherov scored Tampa Bay's only goal during an early push from the Lightning that saw them record the game's first 10 shots.

After a shot went off-target behind the Columbus net, Kucherov quickly recovered the loose puck and tucked it inside the post for his second goal of the playoffs.

The Blue Jackets didn't have a shot on goal until the 12:33 mark, but their second shot 19 seconds later tied the game. Murray scored his first goal in 17 career postseason games after converting a Dubois pass from behind the red line.

Bjorkstrand scored on a booming shot from the face-off circle that beat Andrei Vasilevskiy during a Columbus power play with 1:25 remaining the first period.

After going 0-for-14 on the power play during their qualifying round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Blue Jackets have scored with the man advantage in each of their first two games against Tampa Bay.

Wennberg extended the Jackets' lead on a spectacular individual effort 11:27 into the third period. Wennberg was the only Columbus player in the Lightning's end, but the forward outmaneuvered defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk to reach the net and score.

Brayden Point had an assist to extend his postseason points streak to six games, dating back to the 2019 playoffs. Point has seven total points (four goals, three assists) during the streak.

Vasilevskiy saved 19 of 22 shots.

Game 3 is scheduled for Saturday in Toronto, with the Blue Jackets as the designated home team.

--Field Level Media

More Cleveland News

Access More

Sign up for Cleveland News

a daily newsletter full of things to discuss over drinks.and the great thing is that it's on the house!