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Blue Jackets start off with early 2-1 lead over Lightning

Columbus scores twice less than five minutes into the first period.

TAMPA — The Lightning didn’t get the start it wanted 45 seconds into the opening period.

Ryan McDonagh took a penalty for slashing against Oliver Bjorkstrand behind the Lightning goal and as one of the front-runners on the Lightning’s penalty kill, it left the situation less than ideal for Tampa Bay.

Everything was going fine for Tampa Bay until the last 30 seconds of Columbus’ power play when Alexandre Texier took a shot on goal just outside the left faceoff circle before Yanni Gourde could interrupt the play.

Texier’s power play goal quickly propelled his team to find the back of the net about a minute and a half later as Pierre-Luc Dubois tipped in a shot from the right goal post just before Andrei Vasilevskiy could close the gap.

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Tampa Bay answered five minutes later as Anthony Cirelli battled for the puck along the wall. He fed it to the outside corner to Nikita Kucherov, who then passed it inside to Steven Stamkos.

Stamkos drove the puck down the slot and fed it in-between Sergei Bobrovsky’s legs from inside the crease.It was the All-Star center’s first postseason goal since Game 4 vs. Washington last season, eight games ago.

With the Lightning goal, Stamkos and Kucherov logged their first point in the series against the Blue Jackets.

Contact Mari Faiello at mfaiello@tampabay.com. Follow @faiello_mari.

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