Recap: Jackets steal point, lose 5-4 in SO
Featuring a great comeback against the best team in the league
The Columbus Blue Jackets struck first in a highly anticipated matchup Saturday night against the league’s best team, the Tampa Bay Lightning.
On the night the Lightning celebrated their 2004 Stanley Cup win, it would not take long for the action get started.
Seth Jones knocked in the first goal of the game, his third of the season just 2:30 into the game. It only took 24 seconds for Tampa to tie things up.
Seth Jones, off the boards, shot what appeared to be an easy wrister, but it bounced and got over Andrei Vasilevskiy. Tampa tied it 24 seconds later when Brayden Point set up in front and shot it past Sergei Bobrovsky.
It's what the Lightning do.
They use their speed, quick passing, and the defense has to be stout if the Lightning are going to be retained.
Kucherov gave Tampa the lead at 3:32 and it was the passing display that burned the Jackets. left in the period. The Lightning used its speed to move the puck, tic, tac, toe, back and forth in the offensive zone, and Bob left too much of the net open for Kucherov who slammed home his 14th.
Then it was Zach Werenski tied things up when he camped in front of Vasilevskiy, firing the one-timer past.
This game feels like the one against the Kings doesn't it?
Two of the best goalies in the game, and a 2-2 score half-way through the opening 20 minutes. Each team would kill off a penalty, and Tampa edged Columbus in shots 17-15 through one. Both teams won 10 faceoffs.
Steven Stamkos broke the tie at 6:20, on what was basically a broken play. The Lightning were spreading the puck around, textbook passing, and after an initial shot that died immediately upon leaving the stick, Stamkos got it back and finally buried one past Bob as the net was open on shooters side.
John Tortorella knew how good Tampa would be compared to Florida on Thursday, and that was evident, alright. It felt as if Bobrovsky was doing all he could, but speed kills. The Jackets had some puck possession in their end toward the end of the second, as they tried to ramp up the pressure.
Artemi Panarin skated with the puck in the zone, looking to set up, or find his shot, but a pass deflected off Jack Johnson's foot, sending the Lighting back the other way and eventually found their fourth goal. This time off the stick of Yanni Gourde.
Columbus' power play was basically non-existent, and it just feels like Tampa is there to swarm every inch of ice. If there's a turnover they're ready to pounce. The Jackets nearly answered near the end of the frame, but Ryan Murray could not settle the bouncing puck in front.
Matt Calvert was laid out by Dan Girardi which set off a scrum between both teams. Calvert was on the bench before heading back to the dressing room. At about the nine-minute mark, Nick Foligno was on the doorstep of Vasilevskiy but the shot just went by.
However, Columbus would finally solve him as Markus Hannikainen wrapped around on the individual effort to bring the Jackets within one, 4-3. Brandon Dubinsky got the shot off in the slot and scored his first of the season to tie the game at 4-4. Boone Jenner threw the shot at the net, and Dubinsky did the rest.
The goal ended a 16-game drought for Dubinsky. Columbus' solid third awarded them with at least a point, as the Lightning headed to overtime for the second-straight game.
Stamkos took a penalty which allowed Columbus to get their best look at the win. Prior to that, each possession, particularly Seth Jones and Panarin.
Already 0-for-4 with the man-advantage, it was a sloppy effort on the fifth power play. Basic issues such as keeping the puck onside, or fumbling passes stonewalled them. Both teams suffered a scare when Point collided with Bobrovsky, upending the goalie. Both would be fine. Victor Hedman faked on a pass to Stamkos and Point just lost his edge.
With seconds remaining Bob handled the deflected puck, scooping it for the save and we headed to a shootout. It was a stalemate through the first two rounds before Stamkos beat Bobrovsky. Sonny Milano attempted to keep it going but missed, and the Lightning beat the Jackets 5-4.
Bobrovsky kept his team in it, and the Lightning once again showed why they are so lethal, using speed and staying relentless on the puck. Columbus had their 11th straight game of 30-plus shots, extending a franchise record. Jones and Werenski were each plus-4 with a goal. Columbus moves into sole possession of first place.
We'll do it again Monday night in New York against the Rangers.