Blue Jackets stun Lightning to take 2-0 series lead

Blue Jackets 5 Lightning 1

(Columbus leads series 2-0)

TAMPA, Fla. — Matt Duchene had a goal and three assists, Sergei Bobrovsky made 23 saves, and the Columbus Blue Jackets stunned the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-1 on Friday night to take a 2-0 first-round series lead.

Columbus also got goals from Cam Atkinson, Zach Werenski, Riley Nash and Artemi Panarin. The Blue Jackets started the post-season last season by winning the first two games of the first-round series with eventual Stanley Cup Washington, which won the next four games.

Mikhail Sergachev had a goal and Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 22 shots for the Lightning, who lost two games in a row just twice in the regular season. Tampa Bay matched the 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings for the most wins in a regular season with 62.

Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov, who led the NHL with 128 points, was held off the scoresheet for the second consecutive game and picked up tripping, boarding and 10-minute misconduct penalties late in the third period.

The Blue Jackets rallied from a three-goal, first-period deficit to beat Tampa Bay 4-3 in Game 1 on Wednesday night as Seth Jones scored the go-ahead goal on the power play to cap Columbus’ three-goal third period.

Duchene assisted on both Columbus goals during the first period and put the Blue Jackets ahead 3-0 on the power play when the centre scored on the rebound at 1:28 of the second after Vasilevskiy had stopped his tip-in try.

The Lightning got within two goals at 3-1 when Sergachev’s shot went into the net off Blue Jackets defenceman Markus Nutivaara’s skate five minutes into the third. But, Nash and Panarin scored goals over a three-minute span midway through the period.

Bobrovsky stopped Kucherov’s shot and got a piece of Steven Stamkos’ scoring chance that also went off the crossbar during an early second-period power play.

Duchene stole the puck from J.T. Miller along the left-wing boards and sent a pass into the low slot that Atkinson redirected past Vasilevskiy 5:15 into the game.

Werenski made it 2-0 from the blue line after Duchene won a faceoff during a power play at 11:44 of the first.

NOTES: The Lightning outscored Columbus 17-3 in sweeping all three games between the teams in the regular season. … Tampa Bay D Anton Stralman (lower-body injury) sat out his third consecutive game but took part in the morning skate. Lightning coach Jon Cooper is non-committal about when Stralman will be back. … Lightning RW Ryan Callahan and D Braydon Coburn were healthy scratches for the second straight game. … Tampa Bay scored 325 goals in 2018-19, the most by any team in 23 years.

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Columbus hosts Game 3 on Sunday night.

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