Columbus Blue Jackets spoil Marty St. Louis' night in Tampa

By Erik Erlendsson, The Sports Xchange

TAMPA, Fla. -- Columbus rallied to spoil Marty St. Louis night on Friday.

The Blue Jackets scored three consecutive goals to pick up a 3-1 victory at Amalie Arena.


Joonas Korpisalo, who found out he was starting 20 minutes before the opening faceoff, finished with 31 saves for the Blue Jackets.

Josh Anderson and Nick Foligno scored for the Blue Jackets, which won for just the second time in five games since winning 16 in a row. Boone Jenner added a short-handed, empty-net goal with 1:05 left to secure the victory.

Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 28 shots in losing his fifth consecutive decision. Jonathan Drouin scored his 13th goal of the season for Tampa Bay.

The Lightning looked electric to start the game, feeding off the emotional pregame ceremony to honor former captain St. Louis with a jersey retirement. Tampa Bay put Columbus on its heels for a good portion of the first period and wound up outshooting the visitors 19-6 in the opening 20 minutes.


"We (stunk) the first period," Columbus coach John Tortorella said. "I don't know if it was the ceremony, I'm not sure what happened to us at the beginning of the game, but we just no-showed."

The only payoff for Tampa Bay's work came at 16:18 on a play finished off by Drouin at the left point, one-timing a backhand pass from Valtteri Filppula to give the Lightning a 1-0 lead heading into the first intermission.

"That was all on Korpi. He made some huge saves for us in the first period to allow us to only be down by one," Foligno said. "And that's something we talked about in this room after the first period, we were only down by one and it was probably the poorest period we played all season."

The Blue Jackets turned the game around in the second period and pushed the Lightning back in their zone time after time. But just like Tampa Bay in the first period, Columbus did not get the payoff until late in the period to tie the score.

After Gabriel Dumont failed to get the puck out of the zone, Matt Calvert kept the puck in the zone and skated over toward the left circle and sent a shot on net that was deflected on the way to the net.


That deflection threw Vasilevskiy off and he was caught just out of position enough to allow Anderson to find the puck in the crease and lift it over the left pad at 16:40 to tie the score.

"We just weren't quite as good as we were in the first," Tampa Bay center Brian Boyle said. "There were parts where we had some chances, but where we are at right now and for us to not have that same mentality we had in the first is disappointing."

Columbus grabbed its first lead of the game as the top-ranked power play in the league cashed in as Foligno was left open down low to put home a rebound from Zach Werenski's shot for a 2-1 lead at 4:29 of the third period.

The Blue Jackets then killed off a Lightning power play chance with 3:04 left in the game, with Jenner getting the empty-net goal to seal the victory.

"They have a really good team and reeled off 16 in a row for a reason," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "It's too bad that we only had the 1-0 lead (after the first period) because I felt we deserved a better fate. It was tough for our guys to sustain and they turned up their game a notch.


"They tried, but it was a little tougher for us to get to the inside and we weren't getting our shots through. Then ultimately it came down to special teams and they got the big goal and we couldn't kill off and couldn't get the power play goal when we needed it."

NOTES: Columbus recalled LW Markus Hannikainen from Cleveland of the American Hockey League on Thursday. ... Lightning RW Ryan Callahan (lower body) and RW J.T. Brown (upper body) each missed their third consecutive game. ... Columbus G Joonas Korpisalo started for the Blue Jackets though Sergei Bobrovsky was scheduled to start. Bobrovsky missed the previous game with the flu. Korpisalo is expected to start Saturday at Florida as well. ... Tampa Bay scratched RW Erik Condra, who was called up earlier in the day, and D Luke Witkowski. ... The Blue Jackets scratched D Dalton Prout, D Scott Harrington and Hannikainen. ... The game started 20 minutes later than scheduled due to the length of the pregame ceremony.

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