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What We Learned: TBL 2, CBJ 0

Jackets outshoot Lightning 43-21 but can't find the back of the net

by Brian Hedger JacketsInsider /

The Blue Jackets were the first team to keep Nikita Kucherov from scoring a goal this season, and the first team to prevent the Tampa Bay Lightning from scoring on the power play.

They also dominated the second and third periods against Tampa Bay on Thursday night at Nationwide Arena, but lost 2-0 because they were first team not to score a goal against Andrei Vasilevskiy.

The Jackets outshot the Lightning 43-21, including 33-8 in the final 40 minutes, but still watched their four-game win streak come to a screeching halt.

"Don't pick it apart," Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said. "We had some good chances. [Vasilevskiy] made some good saves. We're not going to beat it up here or over analyze it. I thought we were dominated in the first [period], I thought we had some good minutes in the second and third … we just couldn't solve their goalie."

Vasilevskiy's shutout was his first of the season and fifth of his NHL career. He turned away all 43 shots he faced, while Kucherov made up for his lack of goals by extending his point streak to start the season to eight games - assisting on the first two goals of rookie defenseman Mikhail Sergachev's NHL career.

Sergachev scored at 17:48 of the first period and 15:37 of the second, and that was all the Lightning needed to win an early season battle between Eastern Conference division leaders.

Sergei Bobrovsky made 19 saves for Columbus (5-2-0), but Vasilevskiy was the difference.

"He played really well, and so did 'Bob,'" said Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno, who went with a baseball analogy to describe a hockey game in the middle of October. "It was a 1-0 game [after the first period]. It could've been a lot worse early on. It was a battle of goaltenders tonight. We just didn't give 'Bob' the run coverage that he needed."

They certainly tried, especially after going into the first intermission down in goals, shots and overall 5-on-5 shot attempts (20-13). The Jackets' offense was stymied multiple times by Vasilevskiy, and they were unable to break the current hex that has a chokehold on their power-play units.

Columbus hasn't scored a power-play goal in the past six games, and hasn't score one with a man-advantage since Zach Werenski's tally on the Jackets' first power play of the season.

That was here, early in a 5-0 win against the New York Islanders on opening night. Since that goal, the Jackets are 0-for-18. This time, they had one power play in each period, and put a total of just three shots on goal in all of them combined.

"I thought tonight was the game we really felt it," Tortorella said. "We've found ways to win games. We needed our power play tonight."


Lightning: Host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday (7 p.m. CT, SUN,ATTSN-PT, NHL.TV)

Blue Jackets: Host the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday (7 p.m. CT, FS-O, Fox Sports Go,FS-W, NHL.TV)

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