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game recap

Vasilevskiy, Lightning blank Blue Jackets

Makes 21 saves for fifth shutout; Johnson scores twice, pushes point streak to 12

by Craig Merz / NHL.com Correspondent

COLUMBUS -- There were postgame fireworks to celebrate New Year's Eve, but fortunately for the Tampa Bay Lightning, the cannon inside Nationwide Arena never was set off for a goal by the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday.

That's because Andrei Vasilevskiy made 21 saves for his NHL-best fifth shutout, and Tyler Johnson scored two goals for the Lightning in a 5-0 victory.

 

[WATCH: All Lightning vs. Blue Jackets highlights]

 

Vasilevskiy rarely was tested, especially after the first period, when the Blue Jackets led in shots on goal 12-5. In the second and third periods, Columbus was outshot 30-9.

Video: TBL@CBJ: Vasilevskiy stops Foligno on partial break

"We weren't happy with the first period, so we changed a few things," said Johnson, who has eight goals and 10 assists during a 12-game point streak, tied with teammates Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos for the longest in the NHL this season. "We wanted to shoot more. When you shoot more, you create offense and you get chances off it."

The League-leading Lightning (28-8-2) scored four goals in 7:23 in the second period. They have won 11 of 13 games, scoring at least three goals in each game.

"That's a team that's won the amount of games they have because they smelled the blood in the water and they certainly took it to us there," Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said.

Kucherov had a goal and an assist, Stamkos and Cory Conacher scored, and Victor Hedman, Brayden Point and Mikhail Sergachev each had two assists.

"We just don't have one line," said Kucherov, whose 56 points (25 goals, 31 assists) lead the NHL. "We have four lines that are the same. When you have that, you have team success."

Columbus (22-15-3) has lost three straight games (0-2-1) and is 2-4-2 in its past eight. Joonas Korpisalo made 30 saves.

The Blue Jackets, who are without defenseman Ryan Murray (upper body) and forwards Cam Atkinson (foot), Alexander Wennberg (back) and Brandon Dubinsky (orbital fracture) because of injury, have been inconsistent of late. In their previous two games, they squandered two-goal leads four times.

"No one's coming to help us," captain Nick Foligno said. "No one's feeling sorry for us. The League keeps coming. We've got to find a way out of it. It starts with our mentality of who we are as a team."

Johnson scored at 1:22 and 4:49 of the second, with assists from Point and Sergachev on each goal, to give the Lightning a 2-0.

The first goal was the 100th in 345 NHL games for Johnson. His second came on the power play and was his 12th of the season.

Point has 15 points (seven goals, eight assists) in his past 13 games.

Kucherov scored at 7:53 for a 3-0 lead, and Conacher made it 4-0 at 8:45.

Stamkos scored on the power play at 10:36 of the third for a 5-0 lead.

Video: TBL@CBJ: Stamkos goes short side for PPG

Vasilevskiy has nine NHL shutouts. He made 43 saves in a 2-0 victory at Columbus on Oct. 19.

"He's one of those guys that I truly believe he's the best goalie in the world right now. He's unbelievable," Johnson said.

 

Goal of the game

Johnson's goal at 4:49 of the second period.

Video: TBL@CBJ: Johnson hammers home pass for second goal

 

Save of the game

Vasilevskiy stopping Josh Anderson at 4:12 of the second period.

Video: TBL@CBJ: Vasilevskiy stops Anderson's breakaway bid

 

Highlight of the game

Kucherov's goal at 7:53 of the second period.

Video: TBL@CBJ: Kucherov scores to extend point streak

 

They said it

"We got one, we got two and tried to break their will in the second. Fortunately for us, we got a couple of bounces and a couple of breaks." -- Lightning coach Jon Cooper

 

"We had a good start. We did all the right things in the first period. That was something we could build on. In the second, they got the push and we didn't have the pushback, and they just kept it on." -- Blue Jackets forward Boone Jenner

 

"It's very important we don't get satisfied and think we've accomplished anything. There's still more than half the season left. It's about building up toward the end of the season and playing our best hockey." -- Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman

 

Need to know

Stralman (lower body) returned after missing two games and replaced defenseman Andrej Sustr in the lineup. … Jenner played his 300th NHL game, all with the Blue Jackets.

 

What's next

Lightning: At the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; TVA Sports, SNO, SUN, NHL.TV)

Blue Jackets: At the Dallas Stars on Tuesday (8:30 p.m. ET; FS-SW, FS-O, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Johnson, Vasilevskiy lead Lightning to 5-0 home win

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