The Lightning will have some work to do when the series shifts to Columbus on Sunday.
Tampa Bay fell to the Blue Jackets 5-1 at Amalie Arena on Friday night in Game 2 of their First Round series and now face a 2-0 deficit with Games 3 and 4 coming up in Columbus.
While the Bolts got off to a great start in the series opener, the exact opposite took place in Friday's Game 2.
Columbus took advantage of a slow start for the Lightning, scoring twice in the first period. Cam Atkinson got the visitors on the board five minutes into the game, deflecting home a pass from Matt Duchene on the doorstep. Zach Werenski then scored off a faceoff three seconds into a Columbus power play to double the Blue Jackets' lead.
Things didn't get any better for the Bolts in the second period. Duchene gave the Blue Jackets a 3-0 lead, scoring on a rebound after Andrei Vasilevskiy couldn't control the rebound on a shot from Artemi Panarin.
The Bolts showed signs of life after Mikhail Sergachev scored five minutes into the third period. Sergachev got the puck at the point and fired a shot that Sergei Bobrovsky had trouble seeing with plenty of traffic out in front.
Immediately following the goal, Tampa Bay went on the power play after Nick Foligno was called for tripping, giving the Lightning a chance to capitalize on some momentum. The Bolts could never get anything going on the power play, however, and Columbus took the momentum right back with Riley Nash scoring minutes after 5-on-5 play resumed.
For good measure, Panarin added an insurance goal with less than eight minutes to play, scoring into a wide open net after a feed from Duchene got Vasilevskiy out of position.
Once again Tampa Bay's stars were absent. Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point were each held without a point for the second straight game and were a combined -3 on the night.
The Bolts now head to Columbus for Games 3 and 4 facing a 2-0 deficit in the series. The two teams meet again in Game 3 at Nationwide Arena on Sunday night.
CBJ | 5:15 Cam Atkinson (1) - Matt Duchene
CBJ | 11:44 Zach Werenski (1) - Matt Duchene - PPG
CBJ | 1:28 Matt Duchene (1) - Artemi Panarin, Zach Werenski - PPG
TBL | 5:00 Mikhail Sergachev (1) - J.T. Miller, Erik Cernak
CBJ | 9:06 Riley Nash (1) - Boone Jenner
CBJ | 12:15 Artemi Panarin (1) - Matt Duchene, Oliver Bjorkstrand