COLUMBUS, Ohio - After losing yet another player to injury, the Tampa Bay Lightning finally caught a break.
Brian Boyle scored a short-handed goal in the third period and Ben Bishop made several big stops down the stretch, finishing with 25 saves as Tampa Bay beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1 on Monday night.
The Lightning benefited from some good fortune with 2:17 remaining. After a series of whacks at the puck by three Blue Jackets players in front, Brandon Dubinsky slid a shot along the ice. It hit off Bishop's arm before settling on the goal line but not entirely crossing over it.
Vladislav Namestnikov came to the rescue, pushing the puck under the huge netminder with his glove.
"I had it played just the way I wanted to and I guess it just snuck under my stick," said Bishop, who entered second in the NHL with a 1.96 goals-against average. "I'd say 99 out of 100 times it hits my stick. I don't know how it didn't hit my stick. I almost felt like (Dominik) Hasak rolling on my back. Sometimes it's nice to get a little lucky with the puck stopping like that."
Jonathan Marchessault also scored for Tampa Bay, but star forward Steven Stamkos was held off the scoreboard for the ninth straight game.
Already decimated by injuries to regular forwards Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat, Jonathan Drouin, Cedric Paquette and Erik Condra, the Lightning lost Joel Vermin when he was hurt on his first shift. Vermin, recalled from the minors before the game, did not return.
Dubinsky scored for Columbus, which has dropped four in a row. Joonas Korpisalo, a 21-year-old rookie, was impressive in stopping 27 shots during his first NHL start.
Korpisalo is the Blue Jackets' current backup behind Curtis McElhinney, with Sergei Bobrovksy sidelined by a groin strain.
After two near misses by Scott Hartnell, Alex Killorn fed Boyle on a 2-on-1 for his eighth goal to make it 2-1 at 6:13 of the third. The usually heady Alexander Wennberg coughed up the puck again, leading to Tampa Bay's score.
"Hell of a pass," Boyle said. "It's always fun to score. It was good to get a second one. Bish deserved a second one, for sure."
Bishop held firm in another close game for Tampa Bay.
"We're happy with the win, but looking back I think we've got to tighten some things up," Killorn said. "I think Bish stood on his head. It's come to the point where you just expect him to make these saves. It can't be that way, especially at the end of the game."
Pressing for the equalizer, the Blue Jackets received a bench minor with 5:46 remaining for having too many men on the ice, but it didn't slow them down. Columbus got behind the Tampa Bay defence, creating dangerous chances.
Bishop made two more critical stops in the final 2 minutes on Hartnell's shot from the slot and then his rebound jab.
"We had opportunities and we didn't finish, especially in that third period late," Columbus coach John Tortorella said.
Korpisalo was tested at the outset but looked comfortable while making several nice saves on an early Lightning power play. Later in the first period, he reached back with his left pad to stop Killorn at the post.
Bishop was just as good, calmly closing down Brandon Saad and then a charging Boone Jenner.
Marchessault made it 1-0 at 11:11 of the second on an unassisted goal. Wennberg, in the corner, sent an ill-advised pass directly to Marchessault at the right hash marks that he fired past Korpisalo.
Dubinsky tied it on a backhand move for his fifth of the season and first in 11 games at 16:46. Nick Foligno kept the puck in at the blue line, leading to Matt Calvert flicking a backhand pass from behind the net to Dubinsky.
"I thought for 50 minutes of that game we controlled the whole pace of play," Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. "I thought we earned our 2-1 lead."
NOTES: Tortorella served as a Tampa Bay assistant before becoming the franchise's winningest coach with a 239-222-74 record from 2000-08. He led the Lightning to a Stanley Cup championship in 2004. ... The Lightning also recalled C Yanni Gourde on Monday. ... Korpisalo was 5-4-2 with two shutouts, a 2.12 goals-against average and .928 save percentage for the Blue Jackets' Lake Erie Monsters AHL affiliate. He was selected in the third round of the 2012 draft. ... Tampa Bay plays in Toronto on Tuesday, while the Blue Jackets travel to Dallas. ... Hungry for a goal, Stamkos kicked the puck into the net in the first period as if it was a soccer ball but the goal was immediately waved off.