Lightning Lackluster In Loss To The Blue Jackets 1-0
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Nick Foligno scored a highlight-reel goal in the second period and Sergei Bobrovsky and Curtis McElhinney made it stand up as the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 1-0 on Tuesday night.
Bobrovsky, winner of the Vezina Trophy last year as the NHL’s top goalie, stopped all 18 shots before he left with an unspecified injury 4:13 into the third period. He was replaced by McElhinney, who made the last eight saves.
Tampa Bay’s Valterri Filppula’s shot just slid past the corner of the goal as time expired and the Lightning were shut out for the second game in a row. They have lost their last five road games.
The game was played before the smallest crowd of the year at Nationwide Arena — 10,223.
Bobrovsky’s injury came on his most spectacular save of the night.
The Lightning’s J.T. Brown took a stretch pass and was all alone behind the defense. He tried a high wrist shot and Bobrovsky gloved it, falling to the ice with his legs spread while his left leg jammed into the goal post.
He was helped off the ice and was replaced by McElhinney.
The Blue Jackets were content to just chip and chase the puck for the duration, but the Lightning still had chances.
Nate Thompson unleashed a hard wrist shot while moving in from the right wing with 6½ minutes left but McElhinney made the stop.
The crowd booed with 4:46 left when Jack Johnson was called for tripping. Reviews clearly showed that Ondrej Palat fell down without anyone coming close to him. But the Blue Jackets killed that penalty.
With just over a minute left, Martin St. Louis lifted a backhand shot that McElhinney smothered. Then came Filppula’s close call at the end.
If Bobrovsky is sidelined for very long, it will be a daunting problem for the Blue Jackets. Their top scoring threat, Marian Gaborik, is still a couple of weeks away after spraining a knee, while big offseason free-agent signing Nathan Horton is maybe a month from playing his first games in a Columbus sweater after shoulder surgery.
Outshot 10-4 in the scoreless opening period, the Blue Jackets broke through on a nifty combination of plays in the second.
Ryan Johansen flicked the puck away from Filpppula in the offensive zone, then fed Foligno who was all alone swooping in on goalie Ben Bishop. Foligno slid the puck back through his legs and then backhanded it past Bishop for his seventh goal at the 4:30 mark.
The fans oohed and ahead when the replay was flashed on the monitors over center ice.
Columbus, held to 14 shots on goal in a 3-1 loss at Boston on Saturday, had 13 shots (to six for the Lightning) in the second period.
NOTES: The Lightning have gone 4-5-1 since major scoring threat Steven Stamkos broke his leg on Nov. 11 at Boston. … Bishop came in with a 14-4-1 record, just a 2.08 goals-against average and a .931 save percentage. He had stopped 110 of his last 113 shots before Foligno’s goal. … The Blue Jackets have not won back-to-back games since Oct. 25 when they beat Toronto 5-2 to extend a home winning streak to three in a row. Since then they are 6-9-3.