Tampa Bay Lightning electrifies the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 3

(Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images) /

The Tampa Bay Lightning offense sprang to life tonight, delivering a 8-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets at the Amalie Arena in the third game of the season.

The Tampa Bay Lightning got off to an interesting start this season, splitting the first two games of the season right down the middle. After bringing home a 2-1 shootout victory against the Florida Panthers in the Home Opener, the Lightning suffered a deflating 4-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday night.

Tonight, the Lightning looked to get back on track and bring home the two points against the Columbus Blue Jackets at the Amalie Arena in Downtown Tampa. The Lightning had plenty of success against the Blue Jackets last season, winning all three games played; however, this is a new season with new challenges.

One thing the Lightning would need in order to bring home a victory over the Blue Jackets tonight would be offensive aggression. The Lightning has only scored two goals through the first two games of the season. Obviously, this kind of production won’t get a team very far as the season progresses.

Thankfully, the Lightning roster seemed to be well aware of this situation as they kicked things off against Columbus in grand style. Just one minute into the first period and the goal horn would resound throughout the rafters as defenseman Victor Hedman picked up his first goal of the season on the rebound.

The Bolts would get the first crack at the Power Play tonight as Columbus forward Pierre-Luc Dubois would head to the penalty box for two minutes for Hooking against Lightning captain Steven Stamkos. Unfortunately, the Lightning couldn’t capitalize on the opportunity and the Blue Jackets returned to full strength.

Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa Bay Lightning /

Tampa Bay Lightning

Just before the halfway point in the period, the Lightning would make their way to the Penalty Kill as forward Brayden Point made his way to the sin bin for two minutes for Slashing against Blue Jackets forward Oliver Bjorkstrand.

One would easily assume this would give the Blue Jackets the upper hand, but that’s not the way this story played out. Seconds after the penalty to Point expired, Lightning forward Cedric Paquette would extend the Lightning’s lead to two, picking up his first goal of the season.

Just when Lightning fans thought this game couldn’t possibly get any more exciting, well…it did. Lightning forward Yanni Gourde would get his stick on a rebound and send it flying past Columbus goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky to give the Lightning a three-goal lead over the Blue Jackets.

We’re pretty sure we speak for everyone here in the Bolts Nation when we ask exactly who these players are and where they were hiding during the first two games of the season. No matter the answer to the question, the Boys in Blue were out in full force during the first period.

When the Lightning and Blue Jackets took the ice for the second period of play, Bolts fans were looking for the same kind of play they witnessed in the first period. For the most part, Lightning fans got their wish. Unfortunately, in the early moments of the period, the circumstances would be a little less than ideal.

Victor Hedman would lose sight of his stick, which would end up nailing Blue Jackets forward Anthony Duclair in the head resulting in a Double Minor for High Sticking. The penalty kill squad would definitely need to hold strong here. Thankfully, this is exactly how things played out.

Regrettably, the Lightning’s hopes for a shutout would come crashing down in the second period as Blue Jackets forward Josh Anderson would pick up his third goal of the season to get Columbus on the board.

The hits seemed to keep on coming in the second when Oliver Bjorkstrand would pick up his own rebound in front of the net and turn this into a one-goal game. Truth be told, Andrei Vasilevskiy definitely could’ve used a little more coverage in front of the net on this one.

It was quickly starting to look at if the second period was going to come to a close on a sour note. Thank goodness the Lightning were having none of this negativity in their lives. There were just 45 seconds left in the period when Brayden Point would extend the Lightning’s lead to two goals once again.

Despite ending the period on a high note, there were some negative notes glaring everyone right in the face. The Lightning was outshot by the Blue Jackets 16-5 in the second period for a two-period total of 25-17 in favor of Columbus. This was a stark contrast to the 9-12 the Bolts outshot the Blue Jackets in the first period.

The Bolts had their fair share of penalty woes in the second period, especially the double minor Victor Hedman took in the beginning of the period. Thankfully, the Lightning’s penalty kill has been holding incredibly strong and was able to shut down the Blue Jackets power play unit.

Fortune seemed to shine on the Lightning in the final seconds of the second period. Unbeknownst at the time, the officials called Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski to the carpet at the buzzer for Slashing against Stamkos. This meant the Bolts would start the third period on the Power Play.

As one could easily expect, the Lightning hit the ice at full speed in the third period. There were just 20 seconds left in the Power Play when Brayden Point would pick up his second goal of the night to extend the Lightning’s lead over the Blue Jackets to three goals.

The Tampa Bay Lightning’s Power Play was absolutely on fire tonight against the Columbus Blue Jackets. A few minutes after the Power Play Goal from Brayden Point, the Lightning would find themselves with yet another opportunity with the man advantage. This time it would be Alex Killorn who would sink the puck in the back of the net and pick up his first goal of the season, extending the Lightning’s lead to 6-2 over Columbus.

As the third period pressed on, it would start to seem as if the Columbus Blue Jackets purchased a timeshare in the penalty box. Nikita Kucherov found himself with an excellent scoring opportunity around the halfway point in the period. Unfortunately, it was cut short by a Hook from Artemi Panarin.

This left the Lightning with yet another chance with the man advantage. Regrettably, the Bolts would find themselves unable to capitalize on this particular opportunity.

On the bright side, Nikita Kucherov’ scoring woes were about to come to an end. At 13:02 in the third period, Kucherov would fire off one heck of a shot, which would ultimately beat Sergei Bobrovsky and extend the Lightning’s lead over the Blue Jackets to a whopping five goals.

Judging by the Lightning’s performance through this point in the game, it’s pretty plain to see the line changes Head Coach Jon Cooper made before tonight’s game was exactly what the Bolts offense needed to light the spark and really start putting on a show.

8. 23. Final. 2. 113

The Lightning and Blue Jackets would find themselves in a bit of a scuffle in the final minutes of the game. When all the penalties would shake loose, the Lightning would end up with yet another chance with the man advantage. Moments later, the Bolts would find themselves with a 5-on-3 advantage as David Savard was sent to the sin bin for Slashing against J.T. Miller.

The only word that comes to mind here is Karma. There was literally one second left on the clock when J.T. Miller would get his stick on the rebound and bury the puck past Bobrovsky to close out the game. When the final buzzer sounded, the Lightning would defeat the Blue Jackets by the score of 8-2.

First things first…the Lightning offense did a spectacular job tonight! The Lightning burst out of the tunnel with speed and tenacity in the first period. Things seemed to cool off a bit in the second period, but by the time the second intermission rolled around, the Lightning was back to form with the goal from Point.

Once the Bolts hit the ice for the third period, all bets were off. The third period was all about the Lightning, who picked up a whopping four goals in the final 20 minutes of play.

The Lightning’s Power Play was superb tonight against the Blue Jackets. The Bolts went 4-for-7 on the Power Play, scoring not one, not two, but three Power Play Goals in the Third Period. We know we’ve asked this question once tonight already, but who are these players and where have they been hiding this season?

There were seven different players registering goals in tonight’s encounter and 12 different players making their way to the scoresheet. No matter which way you look at tonight’s game, the Tampa Bay Lightning was firing on all cylinders.

Next. Going Head-to-Head With The Columbus Blue Jackets. dark

The Tampa Bay Lightning will have the next two days to recharge before they take on the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday, October 16 at the Amalie Arena. The puck is scheduled to drop at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time. After tonight’s electrifying performance against the Blue Jackets, we can’t wait to see what the Bolts will have in store for fans on Tuesday against the Hurricanes!