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National Hockey League
Columbus 3, Tampa Bay 1
When: 7:00 PM ET, Sunday, April 14, 2019
Where: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
Referees: Wes McCauley, Brian Pochmara
Linesmen: Derek Amell, Andrew Smith
Attendance: 19224

Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky made 30 saves to lead Columbus to a 3-1 win over the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday night, lifting the Blue Jackets to a commanding 3-0 lead in their opening-round playoff series.

Cam Atkinson had a goal and an assist, and Matt Duchene and Oliver Bjorkstrand tallied for the Blue Jackets, who have won 10 of their last 11 games, including seven of eight to close the regular season and earn the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Bobrovsky stopped 16 shots in the third period, as Tampa Bay tried to rally from a 2-0 deficit but couldn't do so in front of a raucous crowd at Nationwide Arena.

Ondrej Palat scored a goal, and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 27 saves for the Lightning, who dropped their third straight game for the first time this season and have lost five consecutive playoff games.

The Blue Jackets can close out the series against the Presidents' Trophy-winning club in Game 4 in Columbus on Tuesday. Tampa Bay, which tied an NHL single-season record with 62 regular-season wins, will try to avoid being the first-ever Presidents' Trophy winner to be swept in the first round.

The Lightning played without a pair of major contributors: right winger Nikita Kucherov and defenseman Victor Hedman.

The NHL's leading scorer with 128 points, Kucherov was suspended one game on Saturday for a hard hit on Markus Nutivaara late in Friday's 5-1 home loss.

Hedman, the reigning Norris Trophy winner as the top defenseman, suffered an undisclosed injury, did not skate with the team on Saturday and was scratched.

Columbus opened the scoring after defensemen Seth Jones and Zach Werenski kept the puck alive in the Tampa Bay end early in the second period. Werenski fired a shot that Atkinson redirected, and the puck caromed to the opposite circle, where Duchene swept in a backhander at 1:44 for his second career playoff goal.

Columbus soon made it 2-0 after the Lightning's Ryan Callahan went off for interfering with Werenski.

Bjorkstrand took a pass from Jones and blasted a goal at 8:25, giving the Blue Jackets their fourth marker in eight power plays against the league's top penalty-kill unit.

Tampa Bay finally scored at 4:40 of the third period when Palat put in his own rebound to make it 2-1.

Bobrovsky stopped a pair of quality chances late in the last five minutes before Atkinson scored an empty-netter with one minute left to seal the win.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
 
Tampa Bay   Columbus
Ondrej Palat 1 Points Cam Atkinson 2
Ondrej Palat 1 Goals Cam Atkinson 1
Erik Cernak 1 Assists Cam Atkinson 1
N/A Power Play Goals Oliver Bjorkstrand 1
N/A Short Handed Goals N/A
Andrei Vasilevskiy .931 Save Percentage Sergei Bobrovsky .968
Andrei Vasilevskiy 27 Saves Sergei Bobrovsky 30
Team Stats Summary
 
Team Shots Goals Power Play Penalty Kill Penalty Mins Face Offs Won
Tampa Bay 31 1 0-0 1-2 8 24
Columbus 30 3 1-2 0-0 4 32
Upcoming Games
  • Columbus will play their next game at home against Tampa Bay. The Blue Jackets have a W/L % of .500 after a win and .667 after a loss.
  • Tampa Bay will play their next game on the road against Columbus. The Lightning have a W/L % of .710 after a win and .900 after a loss.