Lightning-Blue Jackets: Matt Duchene scores first in Game 3

Columbus’ deadline acquisition showing up in a big way in first-round series against Lightning
Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak (81), left, tangles with Columbus Blue Jackets center Matt Duchene (95) behind the goal during Game 2. [DIRK SHADD | Times]
Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak (81), left, tangles with Columbus Blue Jackets center Matt Duchene (95) behind the goal during Game 2. [DIRK SHADD | Times]
Published April 14
Updated April 15

COLUMBUS — The Blue Jackets mortgaged the house for the playoffs and it appears to be paying dividends. Matt Duchene’s star is shining in the first round against the Lightning

The trade deadline acquisition put Columbus on the board first in Game 3, scoring on a rebound early in the second period.

Girardi was jostling with Cam Atkinson in front of the net and screened Vasilevskiy some. The goalie slid out wide to make a pad save on Zach Werenski, leaving the back door open. Steven Stamkos didn’t react in time and Duchene pounced on the puck first.

It was his fifth point of the series. Duchene had a goal and three assists as the Blue Jackets dominated the Lightning 5-1 in Game 2 on Friday.

Not a bad impact for a guy who didn’t seem to be doing much for the Columbus with 12 points in 23 regular-season games.

John Tortorella doesn’t see this as anything new, though. He said the center is just getting on the scoresheet now.

“He made some good plays and had some ice to play on certain times,” he said pregame. “Our power play funnels the puck to the net he ends up getting the rebound. I don’t think he changed his game at all I think he ended up in some situations and came through.”

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