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Game 1 goes to Columbus

The Bolts couldn't make a three-goal lead hold up as they fell to the Blue Jackets 4-3 in Game 1

by Jacob Lynn / TampaBayLightning.com

Four unanswered Blue Jackets goals over the final 30 minutes spoiled a great Game 1 start from the Lightning.

Tampa Bay scored three times in the first period to build a lead but ultimately couldn't make it hold up, falling to Columbus 4-3 at Amalie Arena on Wednesday night.

Alex Killorn opened the scoring 4:12 into the game with a goal on a shorthanded breakaway. Killorn stripped Seth Jones at the blueline and beat Sergei Bobrovksky on a backhand to give the Lightning the early lead.

Video: CBJ@TBL, Gm1: Killorn nets SHG on breakaway

Anthony Cirelli followed that up with a goal midway through the period. Cirelli went unmarked in front of the net and scored after Bobrovsky couldn't control the rebound on a point shot from Erik Cernak.

Tampa Bay's persistence in front of the net paid off again late in the period, with Yanni Gourde deflecting home a shot from Mikhail Sergachev to give the Lightning a 3-0 lead through 20 minutes.

From there on out, Columbus dominated Game 1.

Columbus responded to the Bolts' solid first period with ample pressure in the second frame. The Blue Jackets carried play for lengthy stretches throughout the period and outshot the Bolts 11-9.

The Jackets took advantage, scoring the lone goal of the second midway through the period. Ryan McDonagh jumped up on the rush for the Lightning and was caught out of position when Josh Anderson deflected his pass back to the point. Nick Foligno pounced on the loose puck and beat Andrei Vasilevskiy on the ensuing breakaway to get the Blue Jackets on the board.

David Savard scored eight minutes into the third, capitalizing on a turnover as the Bolts tried to start a breakout from their own zone.

Four minutes later, Josh Anderson scored a shorthanded goal to tie the game at three. Anderson brought the puck down the ice on a 2-on-1 and instead of immediately passing or shooting, he held the puck and cut to the middle of the ice before firing a shot past Vasilevskiy.

Columbus' pressure was capped off with Seth Jones' game-winner on a power play with less than six minutes to play in regulation. From the left boards, Artemi Panarin fed Jones in the slot and he wired a shot past Vasilevskiy to give the Blue Jackets their first lead of the game.

While the Lightning's depth scoring helped them build the lead, their stars were shut out in the Game 1 loss. Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point were all held without a point.  

Video: CBJ@TBL, Gm1: Vasilevskiy stops bid from Duchene

A bright spot for the Bolts was the return of Victor Hedman to the blueline. Hedman led the team in time on ice after missing the final four games of the regular season with an upper-body injury.  

The Lightning will look to bounce back when they host the Blue Jackets at Amalie Arena in Game 2 on Friday night.

Scoring Summary
1st Period
TBL | 4:12 Alex Killorn (1) - Unassisted - SHG
TBL | 11:01 Anthony Cirelli (1) - Erik Cernak, J.T. Miller
TBL | 17:50 Yanni Gourde (1) - Mikhail Sergachev, Jan Rutta

2nd Period
CBJ | 9:15 Nick Foligno (1) - Josh Anderson

3rd Period
CBJ | 7:56 David Savard (1) - Unassisted
CBJ | 11:54 Josh Anderson (1) - Boone Jenner - SHG
CBJ | 14:05 Seth Jones (1) - Artemi Panarin, Zach Werenski - PPG

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