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game recap

Kucherov's goal-scoring streak ends but Lightning win

Sergachev scores first two NHL goals, Vasilevskiy makes 43 saves in shutout against Blue Jackets

by Craig Merz / Correspondent

COLUMBUS -- Andrei Vasilevskiy made 43 saves, rookie defenseman Mikhail Sergachev scored the first two goals of his NHL career, and the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-0 at Nationwide Arena on Thursday.

Tampa Bay forward Nikita Kucherov failed to become the fourth player to start the NHL season with a goal in eight straight games but assisted on each of Sergachev's scores.

Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said he was not displeased by the high number of shots considering Columbus scored five goals in three of its first six games.

"What I really liked tonight was the defensive effort," Cooper said. "You look at the stat sheet and it says 40 shots, or whatever (43), but most of them were harmless. I thought we kept them outside."


[WATCH: All Lightning vs. Blue Jackets highlights]


The Lightning (6-1-1) are off to their best start since going 7-0-1 in 2003-04. The Blue Jackets (5-2-0) had a four-game winning streak stopped. 

Vasilevskiy made 33 saves in the final two periods for his first shutout of the season and fifth in the NHL.

"It's a pretty good feeling," he said. "The guys played really well and gave up not so many scoring chances. I felt very confident all night long."

Sergei Bobrovsky made 19 saves for Columbus.

Video: TBL@CBJ: Bobrovsky stones Gourde, Point in order

Sergachev, the No. 9 pick in the 2016 NHL Draft by the Montreal Canadiens, was acquired by Tampa Bay on June 15 as part of the trade that sent Jonathan Drouin to Montreal.

Sergachev, 19, scored his first goal in his 12th NHL game with a slap shot from the left point at 17:48 of the first period. Vladislav Namestnikov checked Blue Jackets forward Cam Atkinson along the wall, Kucherov picked up the puck and passed back to Sergachev.

"I didn't know what to do; 'What am I supposed to do now?'" Sergachev said of his first thoughts following the goal. 

He made it 2-0 at 15:37 of the second period. Steven Stamkos created a turnover at the blue line and passed to Kucherov, who found Sergachev between the circles.

"When you get open they'll get the puck to you," Sergachev said. "All you have to do is shoot the puck. I'm trying to build my confidence playing better [defense]. The goals just came along with it."

Video: TBL@CBJ: Sergachev rifles home first NHL goal

Columbus had an 18-5 shot advantage in the second period but could not score on two power plays. 

Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said the Lightning's speed presented problems in the first period before Columbus adjusted. Tampa Bay led 13-10 in shots through one period. 

"We did a little watching through most of that period," Tortorella said. "[Bobrovsky] gave us a chance to stay in the game. The last two periods we couldn't solve their goalie."


Goal of the game

Sergachev's second was a rising shot over the glove of Bobrovsky.

"One thing is the slap shot, but to come right down Broadway and pick a corner like that just shows his skill set," Cooper said.

Video: TBL@CBJ: Sergachev wires second goal past Bobrovsky


Save of the game

Vasilevskiy stopped Atkinson 11:12 into the second period when the Blue Jackets' leading scorer last season was left alone in the right circle after a cross-ice pass by Artemi Panarin. The save kept the Lightning ahead 1-0.


Highlight of the game

With 13 seconds left in the third period, Vasilevskiy preserved the shutout by sliding across the crease and stopping Panarin's shot from low in the left circle.

Video: TBL@CBJ: Vasilevskiy wards off Panarin's wrister


They said it

"His last couple of games have been his strongest of the year. He's earning his ice time now. He's earning power-play time. It's a learning process, but you can see the skill he has." -- Lightning coach Jon Cooper on rookie defenseman Mikhail Sergachev


"It's a good example of, we waded into the game. We didn't put our best foot forward. We didn't skate the first period and allowed them to dictate their game. I just didn't like our start. You have to have a good start to come back against a team like that who's feeling good about themselves." -- Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno


Need to know

The Lightning were 0-for-2 on the power play and failed to set a Tampa Bay record by scoring a man-up goal in eight straight games to start a season. … Columbus was 0-for-3 on the power play. The Blue Jackets are 1-for-19 this season and have failed to score in their past 18 tries. … Tortorella coached his 1,100th NHL game. He is the 21st coach, seventh active, to reach that milestone. He has a record of 535-434-131.


What's next

Lightning: Host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; ATTSN-PT, SUN, NHL.TV)

Blue Jackets: Host the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; FS-O, FS-W, NHL.TV)


Video: Vasilevskiy, Sergachev power Bolts to 2-0 victory

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