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.
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.