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Blue Jackets extend lead to 4-3 with late second-period goal

The Blue Jackets are 20 minutes away from sweeping Tampa Bay in the first round.

TAMPA — Oliver Bjorkstrand scored on a delayed penalty with little more than a minute remaining in the second period to give the Blue Jackets a 4-3 lead over the Lightning heading to the third.

Columbus had a 6-on-5 advantage on the play, as it pulled goalie Sergei Bobrovsky after Mathieu Joseph was called for tripping.

Cedric Paquette and Brayden Point scored earlier in the period to bring the Lightning back from a two-goal deficit and tie the game at 3.

The Blue Jackets, who led 2-1 after the first period, moved out to a two-goal lead on Seth Jones’ shot from the right faceoff circle just six and a half minutes into the period.

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Paquette gave the Lightning hope as he cut Columbus’ lead to 3-2 with less than seven minutes remaining in the period.

Braydon Coburn’s shot from the blueline made its way through traffic to the front of the net, where Paquette got the toe of his stick on it.

The Lightning carried that momentum through the rest of the period, eventually tying the game on Point’s goal.

Point fought through traffic in the left faceoff circle to take the puck to the net and backhanded it between the posts, notching the Lightning’s first power-play goal of the series and his first point in the postseason.

However, Columbus answered back 54 seconds later on Bjorkstrand’s goal to regain the advantage it has carried throughout most of the series.

The Lightning’s “big 3” of Nikita Kucherov, Point and Steven Stamkos have combined for five points on the night.

Anthony Cirelli was slow to get up after Columbus’ Zach Werenski clipped him in the face with his stick while crosschecking Kucherov with about five minutes remaining in the period.

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

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