Blue Jackets rally for Game 1 win against Lightning
Jones gets power-play goal with 5:55 remaining, Columbus scores three times in thirdby Corey Long / NHL.com Correspondent
TAMPA -- The Columbus Blue Jackets scored four straight goals to defeat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round at Amalie Arena on Wednesday.
Seth Jones scored a power-play goal with 5:55 remaining to give the Blue Jackets a 4-3 lead.
"We were fortunate, it's just a great team win," Jones said. "The belief in here is … obviously we need that if we're going to do anything."
[WATCH: Blue Jackets vs. Lightning Game 1 highlights | Complete series coverage]
Jones, David Savard and Josh Anderson scored in the third period for the Blue Jackets, who trailed 3-0 in the first period. Sergei Bobrovsky made 26 saves, including the final 17 shots he faced.
Alex Killorn, Anthony Cirelli and Yanni Gourde scored for the Lightning, and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 22 saves.
Game 2 of the best-of-7 series is Friday at Tampa Bay.
"We have to give them credit, they played hard for 60 minutes," Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman said. "Good thing it's not a best-of-1, it's a best-of-7. We'll learn from our mistakes today and make sure we bounce back right."
Video: CBJ@TBL, Gm1: Blue Jackets rally to win series opener
Nick Foligno made it 3-1 at 9:15 of the second period on a breakaway after Anderson forced a turnover.
"I was really proud of the group because once we got life, we started to take over and start to instill our game on them," Foligno said. "It's going to be huge in this series because that's a good team. They don't need much to make you pay, but we showed that we can score some big goals too."
Savard scored to make it 3-2 at 7:56 of the third period. It was his first NHL playoff goal in 18 games. Anderson tied it 3-3 with a shorthanded goal at 11:54 when he skated around Hedman and scored glove side.
"We have tried to prepare the best way to play this team," Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said. "We did some good things for a lot of minutes of game and some struggles through some of it all. But we found a way. Tonight we found a way."
Killorn gave the Lightning a 1-0 lead with a shorthanded goal at 4:12 of the first period. Jones turned over the puck at the point and Killorn scored with a backhand.
Video: CBJ@TBL, Gm1: Killorn nets SHG on breakaway
Cirelli made it 2-0 at 11:01 of the first when he chipped in a rebound off a shot from Erik Cernak. Gourde extended the lead to 3-0 at 17:50, redirecting a shot from Mikhail Sergachev.
The Lightning began the second period on a power play but Bobrovsky stopped Nikita Kucherov on a shot in front of the net 26 seconds in, and Kucherov hit the crossbar on a slap shot 24 seconds later. Kucherov didn't have a point in the game after leading the NHL in the regular season with 128 (41 goals, 87 assists).
"I think [Bobrovsky] kept us in the game with some huge saves early in the second and I think we got going from there," Savard said. "It was great timing to get those two saves and it kind of sparked our team."
Video: CBJ@TBL, Gm1: Cirelli sweeps home rebound in front
The Lightning did not lose a game when leading by three goals during the regular season.
"We gave them some life with some turnovers," Lightning captain Steven Stamkos said. "And the special-teams battle that was so key all season long, we didn't get it done tonight. The shorthanded goal got us going early tonight, but we get that four-minute power play and we have a chance to bury them and we give up a shorty."
Video: Clutch Performance: Jones lifts Blue Jackets to win
They said it
"The guys did a great job in front of me, I think they turned the game around. Big goal by Nick and then the crazy, crazy ending in the third." -- Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky
"We didn't manage the puck well obviously. Doesn't matter who you play, and that's a great team over there. We definitely took our foot off the gas pedal a little bit and can't afford to do that. We need to play all 60 minutes. They worked through it after their first period and kept with it. Have to give them a ton of credit." -- Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh
Video: Dunkin' NHL Comebacks: Blue Jackets steal Game 1
Need to know
The Blue Jackets were 2-23-1 trailing after two periods during the regular season. The Lightning were 39-2-2 when leading after two periods during the regular season. … Columbus became the 27th team to rally from at least a three-goal deficit and win a playoff game in regulation. The Winnipeg Jets were the last team to do it, in Game 3 of the Western Conference Second Round against the Nashville Predators on May 1, 2018 (trailed 3-0, won 7-4). … Stamkos, Kucherov and Brayden Point, who combined for 318 points (127 goals, 191 assists) during the regular season, had no points, eight shots on goal, and were minus-4. ... The Lightning outscored the Blue Jackets 17-3 in three regular-season games. ... An NHL team that wins Game 1 has a best-of-7 series record of 467-214 (.686).
Game 2 of the Eastern Conference First Round at Amalie Arena on Friday (7 p.m. ET; CNBC, SN360, TVAS, SUN, FS-O)