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Lightning tops Blue Jackets in shootout

By Roger Mooney, Times Staff Writer
DIRK SHADD | Times Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) stops the final shooter, Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Sonny Milano (22), as the Lightning beat the Blue Jackets with a final score of 5 to 4 at Amalie Arena in Tampa Saturday evening (11/04/17).

TAMPA — The star power was out Saturday at Amalie Arena.

First, it was the members of the Lightning’s 2004 Stanley Cup championship team, which was honored before the game against the Blue Jackets as part of the team’s 25th anniversary celebration.

Then, it was the current Lightning, which received goals from its big stars — Steve Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov — en route to a two-goal, third period lead.

Still, it wasn’t enough to win in regulation, so the Lightning needed a goal by Stamkos in a shootout for a 5-4 victory in front of a sellout crowed of 19,092.

"I just goes to show you, you go from hero to goat pretty quick if they score on that dumb penalty I took in overtime," said Stamkos, who was called for tripping in the extra period.

No harm, though.

Stamkos’ winner came in the third round of the shootout after Kucherov and Brayden Point were denied by Columbus’ Sergei Bobrovsky.

Andrei Vasilevskiy (30 saves) stopped all three shots from the Blue Jackets as the Lightning improved to 11-2-2. The Blue Jackets, who were 4-0 in overtime this season, fell to 9-4-1.

It was the second time in as many games that a poor third period by the Lightning forced overtime. The Lightning lost Thursday to the Rangers in OT.

Coach Jon Cooper, borrowing a term from football, said it was the result of the Lightning going into a "prevent defense."

"We’ll take the win, but we got to close out games a lot better," Stamkos said. "I thought we sat back a little too much. When you have a two-goal lead at home, it should be automatic. Our team has been good at that over the years. We’ll watch the tape and get better. I think it is keeping focus and keeping aggressive."

The teams traded goals in the first period with Point tying the score at 1 24 seconds after the Jackets took the lead on a goal by Seth Jones. Kucherov made it 2-1 just 38 seconds later.

Stamkos scored on a power play 6:20 into the second period to break a 2-2 tie. It was his seventh goal of the season.

Yanni Gourde made it 4-2 late in the period when he took a feed from Alex Killorn while rushing the net. Killorn, who took a pass from Gourde, had skated behind the net before firing a pass to the open Gourde.

"It was two good teams out there," Cooper said. "I thought we earned our lead."

Then the Jackets made a push and tied the score on goals by Markus Hannikainen and Brandon Dubinsky midway through the third period.

"They played extremely well since we last played them," Stamkos said of the Lightning’s 2-0 win Oct. 19 in Columbus. "We knew it was going to be a close game. I thought we played really well the first two (periods). We just have to find a way to have the same effort in the third, because we don’t want to blow two-goal leads like that."

Cooper liked the way his team responded after Dubinsky’s goal to get the game into overtime and, at the least, came away with a point. But first it needed to kill off the penalty on Stamkos.

In shootout, after two scoreless rounds, Cooper called upon Stamkos.

Stamkos is not the best in shootouts. His goal increased his success rate to 9-for-38.

"He’s a scorer," Cooper said. "For me, I thought he was down on himself when he took the penalty in OT. … I thought he was going to go out there and snipe it, and he did."

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Lightning wins shootout 1-0

First Period—1, Columbus, Jones 3, 2:30. 2, Tampa Bay, Point 7 (Brown, Girardi), 2:54. 3, Tampa Bay, Kucherov 14 (Sergachev, Namestnikov), 3:32. 4, Columbus, Werenski 4 (Hannikainen, Dubois), 10:55. Penalties—Callahan, TB, (holding), 14:48; Foligno, CBJ, (tripping), 15:54.

Second Period—5, Tampa Bay, Stamkos 7 (Kucherov, Hedman), 6:20 (pp). 6, Tampa Bay, Gourde 4 (Killorn, Hedman), 18:01. Penalties—Hedman, TB, (high sticking), 1:30; Murray, CBJ, (interference), 5:10; Murray, CBJ, (tripping), 9:23; Sergachev, TB, (interference), 11:20.

Third Period—7, Columbus, Hannikainen 2 (Milano, Jones), 9:46. 8, Columbus, Dubinsky 1 (Bjorkstrand, Jenner), 11:45. Penalties—None.

Overtime—None. Penalties—Stamkos, TB, (tripping), 1:05.

Shootout—Columbus 0 (Bjorkstrand NG, Panarin NG, Milano NG), Tampa Bay 1 (Kucherov NG, Point NG, Stamkos G). Shots on Goal—Columbus 15-6-11-2—34. Tampa Bay 17-10-5-4—36. Power-play opportunities—Columbus 0 of 4; Tampa Bay 1 of 3. Goalies—Columbus, Bobrovsky 8-2-1 (36 shots-32 saves). Tampa Bay, Vasilevskiy 11-1-1 (34-30). A—19,092 (19,092). T—2:45. Referees—Gord Dwyer, Eric Furlatt. Linesmen—Darren Gibbs, Tim Nowak.