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Game #40 Recap: Tampa Bay Lightning thrash hapless Columbus Blue Jackets 6-3

The final score was much closer than on-ice results indicated.

Columbus Blue Jackets v Tampa Bay Lightning Photo by Mark LoMoglio/NHLI via Getty Images

The Columbus Blue Jackets returned to the ice Tuesday night as they took on the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The team made a couple lineup changes in advance of the game:

In addition, the team called up Jet Greaves after Joonas Korpisalo was granted paternity leave - congratulations to the Korpisalo family!

First Period

The Tampa Bay Lightning jumped out to an early lead, scoring just 1:06 into the game as Nikita Kucherov tipped a shot past Elvis Merzlikins after a Jack Roslovic turnover.

Tampa Bay goal (0-1): Kucherov from Cernak and Hagel, 1:06

Tampa continued their earlier domination and were rewarded as Nick Paul tipped home a Kucherov shot for the Bolts’ second goal of the frame.

Tampa Bay goal (0-2): Paul from Kucherov and Hedman, 9:05

Carson Meyer was denied on a breakaway as Columbus earned the first big shot of the night. After the teams killed a 4 on 4, Patrik Laine took possession of a turnover and found Gustav Nyquist, but Nyquist was denied by Andrei Vasilevskiy. After killing a long stretch in their defensive zone, Columbus found some offensive time to end the period but Tampa was unable to score. Tampa led 2-0 after one, shots favored Tampa 21-6.

Second Period

The Jackets earned their first power play early in the second period - Victor Hedman was boxed for tripping less than two minutes into the period. Kent Johnson beat Vasilevskiy under his arm early in the power play, but Vasilevskiy was able to get enough to deflect it inches wide of the post. A Columbus scramble in front of the net saw several chances for the Jackets, including by Roslovic on the doorstep, but Vasilevskiy sold tall. Tampa was able to kill off the penalty, though Columbus had two shots on net.

Columbus managed to break through for their first at 7:04 as Gavin Bayreuther let a shot go that from the point that beat Vasilevskiy clean.

Columbus goal (1-2): Bayreuther from Roslovic and Laine, 7:04

Vladislav Namestnikov responded quickly for Tampa, however, after he beat Merzlikins on a breakaway with 9:35 remaining in the second.

Tampa Bay goal (1-3): Namestnikov from Bellemare, 10:25

Laine and Hedman both nearly scored in the dying seconds, but the second period ended 3-1 in favor of the Bolts.

Third Period

Tim Berni took a tripping penalty 1:11 into the third, giving Tampa their second power play of the evening. Liam Foudy had a shot on goal that Vasilevskiy denied shorthand, but Columbus managed to kill the Tampa power play. Seconds after the Tampa power play, Tim Berni scored his first NHL as Patrik Laine fed him in the slot and Berni beat Vasilevskiy high glove.

Columbus goal (2-3): Berni from Laine, 4:35

After a Berni penalty, Kucherov scored on a one timer from the right circle that beat Merzlikins clean for his second of the night.

Tampa Bay goal (2-4): Kucherov from Hedman and Stamkos, 6:33

Columbus responded with a strong offensive shift but Emil Bemstrom was denied on the doorstep by Andrei Vasilevskiy. Tampa Bay earned a power play as Johnny Gaudreau went off and Tampa scored immediately as Brayden Point buried a backhander for Tampa’s third power play goal of the night.

Tampa Bay goal (2-5): Point from Kucherov and Stamkos, 12:22

After making the initial save, a Merzlikins rebound bounced right to Ross Colton, who capitalized with his ninth of the year.

Tampa Bay goal (2-6): Colton from Maroon and Paul, 13:48

After several decent chances in front of the Tampa net, Kirill Marchenko capitalized and continued his torrid pace with his ninth in 17 games for Columbus. A small bright spot in a terrible game. (21)

Columbus goal (3-6): Marchenko, unassisted , 16:34

Columbus showed a bit of life late in the game, but nothing that seriously threatened Andrei Vasilevskiy. Columbus ended the game outshot 46-23, with Emil Bemstrom the only Blue Jacket who managed a positive Corsi on the night.

Final

Columbus Blue Jackets 3 Tampa Bay Lightning 6

Final Thoughts

Does the recap about the action there seem a bit short? Well, it has exactly 23 sentences - the same number as Columbus had shots on goal tonight. If they’re going to put in minimal effort offensively and coaching-wise, they will get minimal coverage.

Brad Larsen should be fired after the season. Massive changes need to be made for this team to resemble a professional hockey club. Fans should not be subjected to another year of this.

Johnny Gaudreau played the second fewest minutes at 5v5 tonight among skaters. Kent Johnson, third fewest. Leading all skaters? Bemstrom, followed by the fourth line of Foudy/Olivier/Kuraly. Brad Larsen has absolutely no clue what he’s doing. I’m sick of beating around the bush. He’s completely lost, in over his head, and would’ve been canned by a competent organization months ago. The sooner him and his enabler Jarmo go, the better.

Sure, he gave up six goals, but anyone who says this game is on Elvis is wrong. He never, ever had a chance in this game. The godawful defensive zone play from the skaters on this roster should be grounds for firings tomorrow.

Up Next

The Columbus Blue Jackets return home on Thursday to take on the Carolina Hurricanes. Faceoff is scheduled for 7:00 PM ET.

God bless anyone who attends. Start bringing paper bags.