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Power play propels Lightning past Blue Jackets (w/video)

TAMPA — The last game the Lightning played, there was a power outage on its power play. Tampa Bay had a season-high 10 power play opportunities but scored on just one of them in a 2-1 loss Tuesday to the Canucks.

On Saturday, Tampa Bay made people forget about that debacle.

Steven Stamkos scored two 5-on-3 power play goals in 32 seconds in the second period and Tampa Bay went 3-for-8 with the extra man as the Lightning defeated the Blue Jackets 5-2 at Amalie Arena.

Nikita Nesterov also scored on the power play, and Mike Blunden and Jason Garrison had goals for the Lightning (18-15-3). Goalie Ben Bishop made 30 saves to improve to 15-11-2 on the season. It was the 17th time in his past 20 starts that Bishop had allowed two goals or fewer.

Jonathan Marchessault and Nikita Kucherov assisted on both goals by Stamkos to extend their point streaks. Marchessault has a point in the past six games; Kucherov has points in six straight games. Stamkos gained his third point of the game with an assist on Nesterov's second goal of the season, and Blunden joined the two-point club with an assist on Garrison's goal.

But it was special teams that headlined the evening for the Lightning.

Columbus was called for three penalties in three seconds of the second period, giving Tampa Bay two full minutes of 5-on-3 hockey. Stamkos made the Blue Jackets pay.

"A lot of us mentioned it (Saturday) morning, special teams was going to be big," said Stamkos, whose 15th and 16th goals of the season gave him five goals in his past four games. "That was an example of what it can do for a hockey game if you execute."

Tampa Bay also was a perfect 4-for-4 on the penalty kill as it came out of the Christmas break getting the performance it wanted, and more important, two points. With 39 points, the Lightning pulled closer to Atlantic Division leaders Montreal and Detroit (43 points) with three games remaining on this six-game homestand. It moved one point from the second wild-card playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

"When a team gives you an opportunity, you have to make them pay," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "I don't know if we have done that this year as much as we'd like. They gave us the opportunity, and we made them pay."

Rene Bourque and Scott Hartnell scored for the Blue Jackets.

It was 2-1 Columbus in the second when things got crazy. Columbus defenseman Dalton Prout was called for cross-checking at 4:56. On the faceoff, center Gregory Campbell was called for a faceoff violation that resulted in a penalty, and no time went off the clock. Three seconds later, defenseman Jack Johnson got hit for a delay of game penalty for shooting the puck over the glass, giving Tampa Bay a full two-minute 5-on-3, and Stamkos took advantage, scoring twice on it.


Lightning 1 3 1 5
Blue Jackets 1 1 0 2
Lightning 1 3 1 5
Blue Jackets 1 1 0 2


First Period—1, Tampa Bay, Blunden 2 (Sustr, Condra), 5:34. 2, Columbus, Bourque 1 (Jenner, Johansen), 9:44. Penalties—Hartnell, Clm (slashing), 2:50; Hedman, TB (delay of game), 14:13; Jenner, Clm (holding), 16:36.

Second Period—3, Columbus, Hartnell 14 (Wennberg, Prout), 3:07. 4, Tampa Bay, Stamkos 15 (Kucherov, Marchessault), 6:21 (pp). 5, Tampa Bay, Stamkos 16 (Marchessault, Kucherov), 6:53 (pp). 6, Tampa Bay, Nesterov 2 (Callahan, Stamkos), 14:17 (pp). Penalties—Campbell, Clm (face-off violation), 4:56; Prout, Clm (cross-checking), 4:56; J.Johnson, Clm (delay of game), 4:59; Hartnell, Clm, major-game misconduct (charging), 9:29; Johansen, Clm, major (fighting), 9:29; Namestnikov, TB, major (fighting), 9:29; Killorn, TB (roughing), 9:29.

Third Period—7, Tampa Bay, Garrison 3 (Blunden), 4:39. Penalties—Blunden, TB (slashing), 2:24; Killorn, TB (holding), 14:18; Bodnarchuk, Clm (holding), 17:51. Shots on Goal—Columbus 15-9-8—32. Tampa Bay 9-9-7—25. Power-play opportunities—Columbus 0 of 3; Tampa Bay 3 of 8. Goalies—Columbus, Korpisalo 1-4-0 (18 shots-14 saves), McElhinney (0:00 third, 7-6). Tampa Bay, Bishop 15-11-2 (32-30). A—19,092 (19,204). T—2:38. Referees—TJ Luxmore, Jean Hebert. Linesmen—Darren Gibbs, Jonny Murray.

Power play propels Lightning past Blue Jackets (w/video) 12/26/15 [Last modified: Sunday, December 27, 2015 7:24am]
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