The Tampa Bay Lightning will be in the playoffs. The Columbus Blue Jackets will not.
Those realities played out on the ice in Tampa on Tuesdays night as the Bolts scored first and were rarely threatened en route to a 4-1 victory over the Blue Jackets.
Nikita Kucherov opened the scoring just 1:37 in with a feed from Steven Stamkos, a duo that would prove deadly on the night.
Have we mentioned that Nikita Kucherov is REALLY good at hockey? pic.twitter.com/gInhR85Vr6— x - Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) April 26, 2022
Oliver Bjorkstrand would tie the game just minutes later on a feed from Jack Roslovic for the only Blue Jackets highlight of the night.
Ollie makes it a tie game! pic.twitter.com/r98Iyoj55n— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) April 26, 2022
At the end of the first period, Steven Stamkos broke the tie with his 38th of the season from Kucherov and Victor Hedman.
That's a career-high 99th point on the season for Stammer!! pic.twitter.com/6fScd7302p— x - Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) April 26, 2022
Stamkos hit 100 points with his second goal of the night and 39th of the season as he extended the Bolts’ lead to 3-1 at 7:29 of the second period.
OH CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN pic.twitter.com/9GidGBudA5— x - Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) April 27, 2022
With 5:07 remaining, Ondrej Palat finished the game with his 18th of the year.
We like it Palat. pic.twitter.com/JrCiDenIDb— x - Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) April 27, 2022
Tampa Bay beat Columbus 4-1. The teams finish their season series Thursday night at 7:00 PM EDT in the Nationwide Arena finale this season.