The Blue Jackets took a 2-0 series lead on the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, posting a 5-1 win Friday night in Amalie Arena.
Game in a Paragraph
Columbus continued its dominance from the end of Game 1, taking a 2-0 lead in the first period and extending it to 3-0 early in the second period with a second power-play goal. Tampa Bay got a goal back early in the third, but the Blue Jackets responded with two more goals to salt away the victory. Five different Blue Jackets scored in the victory.
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- Cam Atkinson scored for his 42nd goal of the regular season and playoffs, the most in Blue Jackets history.
- Matt Duchene had a four-point night with a goal and three assists, with the goal going down as his first-ever Stanley Cup Playoffs tally in his 10th career game. The three assists and four points are Jackets playoff records.
- Zach Werenski completed a Gordie Howe hat trick, scoring a goal in the first period, adding a fight later in the frame, and adding the assist on a power-play goal in the second.
Video: CBJ@TBL, Gm2: Werenski scores off draw on power play
Columbus hit the gas pedal early and took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission. The Jackets got on the board first 5:15 into the game as Atkinson and Duchene combined for a goal. Atkinson's forecheck allowed Duchene to intercept a pass along the left wall, and he quickly centered to Atkinson for a short-side deflection that made it 1-0.
The Jackets then continued on the forecheck and Riley Nash drew a penalty at the 11:40 mark. Just four seconds later, it was 2-0, as Duchene won the draw back to Werenski, who picked his spot and wired a wrist shot over the glove of Andrei Vasilevskiy.
Werenski was further involved in the action a few minutes later when he dropped the gloves vs. Tampa Bay center Brayden Point, the first fight in his NHL career.
It was 2-0 after two and then 3-0 just 1:28 into the second as the Jackets scored their second power-play goal of the game. Werenski finished off the Gordie Howe with the assist, holding the puck and feeding it across the ice to Panarin, who shot from the left circle and watched Duchene bury the rebound.
Video: CBJ@TBL, Gm2: Duchene cleans up own rebound for PPG
Tampa had some chances as the second went on, including Steven Stamkos hitting the crossbar on the power play, but Columbus had opportunities of its own. Josh Anderson had a shot that Vasilevskiy got a piece of that trickled just wide, while Boone Jenner hit the post on a rush as well.
Stamkos had a good look three minutes into the third period as Sergei Bobrovsky lost the puck on a centering feed, but his shot deflected wide off the skate of Brayden Point.
Tampa would soon make it a 3-1 game, though, at 5:00 of the third. After a strong forecheck by J.T. Miller, MIkhail Sergachev took his pass at the top of the left circle and fired a shot through traffic that beat Bobrovsky.
A huge Bobrovsky save, one of 23 for the CBJ netminder, on Stamkos late on an ensuing power play kept it a 3-1 game, and that proved crucial when Riley Nash gave the Jackets a 4-1 lead with 10:54 to play. Boone Jenner won the puck along the left wall with a fantastic effort then centered it to Nash, who strode into the slot and fired the puck over the blocker of Vasilevskiy.
Video: CBJ@TBL, Gm2: Nash picks the corner on Vasilevskiy
It was 5-1 shortly thereafter, as Panarin created and finished a goal. His strong forecheck tied up the puck in the corner, allowing Oliver Bjorkstrand to win the puck and feed Duchene in front. Duchene then quickly returned the puck to Panarin at the post for an easy tap-in at 12:15.
A scrum late in the game after a Nikita Kucherov hit on Markus Nutivaara led to a major boarding penalty and a misconduct on the Bolts' leading scorer, and the Jackets finished things off from there.
By the Numbers
Columbus scored first vs. Tampa Bay for the first time this season. … The Blue Jackets won the special teams battle, going 2-for-4 on the power play and denying two Tampa power plays. Columbus has now killed all five Lightning power plays this series and 91 of the last 99 opposing chances going back to the regular season. … With his first-period goal, Atkinson has six career postseason goals, tied for most playoff tallies in Jackets history with Jenner and Matt Calvert. … Werenski's fight was the first-ever in CBJ postseason history. … Sergachev entered with 11 points in seven career games vs. the Jackets, including playoffs. … Tampa's Kucherov, the NHL points leader, was kept off the score sheet for the second game in a row after beingn scoreless just 20 times in 82 regular-season games. … Panarin had a two-point night with a goal and an assist. … Columbus has 43 goals in its last 10 games going back to the regular season. ... The Blue Jackets allowed less than three goals in a playoff game for the first time in franchise history.
Columbus kept the same lineup as Game 1, scratching forwards Alexander Wennberg, Markus Hannikainen, Lukas Sedlak and Eric Robinson; injured defenseman Adam McQuaid (upper body) as well as Adam Clendening and Andrew Peeke; and goaltenders Keith Kinkaid and Elvis Merzlikins.
The series shifts to Columbus as the Jackets will host Game 3 on Sunday night at 7 p.m.