The Lightning's backs are officially up against the wall following a 3-1 loss to the Blue Jackets in Game 3.
Tampa Bay now trails the Jackets three games to none in their First Round series with Game 4 to be played on Tuesday night in Columbus.
Just as they did for the majority of Game 2, the Blue Jackets controlled play for most of the first two periods on Sunday.
Although Columbus didn't score in the first period, most of the scoring chances went the Blue Jackets' way. Columbus outshot the Lightning 12-3 over the first period and held the Bolts without a shot on goal for over the final nine minutes. It took several key stops from Andrei Vasilevskiy to keep the score tied through 20 minutes
Video: TBL@CBJ, Gm3: Vasilevskiy shuts the door on Anderson
It didn't take long for Columbus to take the lead in the second period. Vasilevskiy made a save on a shot from Cam Atkinson and kicked the rebound right to Matt Duchene who scored on a backhand.
Less than seven minutes later, Oliver Bjorkstrand converted on a power play to double Columbus' lead midway through the period.
Down two goals entering the third period, Jon Cooper shuffled his lines and it seemed to make a difference.
Five minutes into the period, Ondrej Palat jammed a puck on the doorstep past Sergei Bobrovsky after Erik Cernak fed him out in front.
For the first time since the opening period of Game 1, the Lightning generated sustained pressure in the Blue Jackets' zone but were ultimately denied the equalizer thanks to some big saves from Bobrovksy down the stretch.
Video: TBL@CBJ, Gm3: Palat slips rebound past Bobrovsky
The Lightning outshot Columbus 17-8 over the final period and actually ended up with a 31-30 shot advantage in the game.
Atkinson added an empty netter with a minute to play in regulation to put an end to the Bolts' comeback hopes.
Tampa Bay now faces the daunting task of needing to win each of the series' final four games in order to remain alive in the postseason race. Game 4 will be played in Columbus on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
CBJ | 1:44 Matt Duchene (2) - Cam Atkinson, Zach Werenski
CBJ | 8:25 Oliver Bjorkstrand (1) - Seth Jones, Alexandre Texier - PPG
TBL | 4:40 Ondrej Palat (1) - Erik Cernak, Tyler Johnson
CBJ | 19:00 Cam Atkinson (2) - Artemi Panarin, Scott Harrington - EN