The Columbus Blue Jackets dominated the top-seeded Tampa Bay Lightning in a 5-1 win in Game 2 on Friday night, taking a 2-0 series lead as the CBJ head back home for Game 3 on Sunday.
Matt Duchene led all players with four points (one goal and three assists) and Zach Werenski scored a Gordie Howe hat trick. Cam Atkinson, Riley Nash and Artemi Panarin also scored for Columbus while Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 23 of 24 shots.
Mikhail Sergachev scored Tampa Bay’s lone goal.
Oh, and David Savard blocked six shots.
The Blue Jackets wasted little time, striking 5:15 into the game. Matt Duchene won a puck battle against J.T. Miller and fired a shot on net that Cam Atkinson redirected for the Blue Jackets’ first goal:
The #CBJ strike first! pic.twitter.com/cusWUBdDLT— x-The Cannon (@cbjcannon) April 12, 2019
The game’s first CBJ power play went by without a goal—albeit with great possession and chances—before Columbus went back on the power play thanks to Riley Nash drawing a call on a partial breakaway. It took all of four seconds to convert, with Duchene winning a faceoff to Zach Werenski for a seeing-eye point shot and a 2-0 visitor lead.
Zach Werenski scores the #CBJ's sixth unanswered goal against the Lightning—the second tonight! pic.twitter.com/nuVRNBwrxO— x-The Cannon (@cbjcannon) April 12, 2019
From there, the Blue Jackets held the Lightning without a goal as the teams scrapped throughout the rest of the period. Werenski threw down with Brayden Point for his first professional fight following a post-whistle scrum:
The #CBJ and #GoBolts are getting INTO IT in Game 2, with Werenski and Point throwing down late in the first: pic.twitter.com/rs3yt016SF— x-The Cannon (@cbjcannon) April 12, 2019
The end of the period saw another scrum as the horn sounded, with Victor Hedman and Riley Nash having a chat as a stunned Lightning squad headed to intermission as Columbus enjoyed a 2-0 lead.
Tampa’s frustration shone through early and Alex Killorn took an interference penalty 30 seconds into the frame. It took a little a minute for the CBJ power play to work its magic, but it finally did on a tic-tac-toe play to Duchene on the doorstep for a 3-0 lead.
There's that elite #CBJ power play we all know, striking again for a 3-0 lead pic.twitter.com/AfBnZpfiIs— x-The Cannon (@cbjcannon) April 13, 2019
That’s Duchene’s first postseason goal.
The second saw the Lightning generate a couple of chances and Columbus always answered in kind.
With 15:39 left in the period, CBJ committed a too-many men penalty for the Lightning’s first power play. Columbus continued to frustrate Tampa in the neutral zone and after the hone side rang one off the post, the penalty expired with no goal.
Zach Werenski got a Gordie Howe Hat Trick in seven minutes of ice time— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) April 13, 2019
Columbus continued to block shots and keep the Lightning at bay. A couple of great chances—Anderson slipped a shot through Vasilevskiy’s arm and Jenner hit the post—could’ve made it a 4-0 Columbus lead. Instead, the Blue Jackets had to be content with a 3-0 lead and boos raining down on the Lightning after two periods.
Mikhail Sergachev put the Lightning on the board five minutes into the third and the nerves mounted as Nick Foligno tripped Tyler Johnson less than a minute later. The CBJ penalty kill rose to the occasion, doing its job for the second and final time of the night.
With the CBJ reeling a little, Riley Nash scored out of nowhere to extend the lead to 4-1. Boone Jenner bird dogged for the puck and found Nash in front for a gut punch to the Lightning.
HUGE play by Jenner and Riley Nash makes it 4-1 #CBJ! We can breathe a little bit— x-The Cannon (@cbjcannon) April 13, 2019
(but not much) pic.twitter.com/hx5BpcziZg
At 12:15, Panarin made it 5-1 off of a tic-tac-toe play from Duchene and Oliver Bjorkstrand to put the nail in Tampa’s coffin.
Holy s---.— x-The Cannon (@cbjcannon) April 13, 2019
It's 5-1 #CBJ
Bread scores late in the third. I don't know anymore. pic.twitter.com/mxyprXiUJP
Things got ugly with four and a half minutes to play. Nikita Kucherov tripped Markus Nutivaara and boarded the young Finn, causing all hell to break loose as Victor Hedman, Josh Anderson and Nick Foligno got rowdy.
Uhhh, Nikita Kucherov pic.twitter.com/M4DaHebfJa— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) April 13, 2019
Kucherov might not be playing in Game 3.
That mess gave the Blue Jackets a five-minute major penalty for the rest of the game, salting it away for a win.
The Blue Jackets did almost everything right. They played one of their best games of the season and have a 2-0 series lead to show for it. This time, things are different.
Full recap to follow.