EditorsNote: Adjusted hed
The Tampa Bay Lightning skated to a three-goal, first-period lead and cruised past the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets 8-2 on Saturday.
Brayden Point had two goals for the Lightning, and Victor Hedman, Cedric Paquette, Yanni Gourde, Alex Killorn, Nikita Kucherov and J.T. Miller also scored in the third contest of Tampa Bay’s season-opening five-game homestand.
Tyler Johnson, Mikhail Sergachev and Miller each had two assists.
Josh Anderson and Oliver Bjorkstrand tallied for the Blue Jackets.
Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy recorded 30 saves for the Lightning, and Sergei Bobrovsky had 23 for Columbus.
After scoring just two goals in their first two games, the Lightning reassembled the Triplets Line from the 2014-15 season, reuniting Ondrej Palat with Johnson and Kucherov.
The trio sparked the offense in the three-goal first period.
With that line on the ice, Hedman made it 1-0 when he gathered his own blocked shot by Alexander Wennberg and beat Bobrovsky from the low slot with another attempt just one minute after the puck dropped.
Gourde stole a puck along the right boards and fed Paquette, who beat Bobrovsky blocker side for his first marker and a 2-0 lead at 11:17.
Gourde helped himself to his first goal when he scored on the power play — Tampa Bay’s first on the man advantage after going 0 for 10 to start the season — following a long shot by Sergachev that bounced off traffic in front of Bobrovsky.
Playing without Brandon Dubinsky and Seth Jones and trying to win its second game in a Sunshine State swing, Columbus cut it to 3-1 when Anderson buried his third goal after a slick cross-ice pass from Wennberg at 8:14 of the second.
Bjorkstrand trimmed the deficit to 3-2 when he fired a shot from the left circle, grabbed his rebound in the slot and lifted an unassisted goal — his first — over Vasilevkiy’s glove at 15:51.
Point zipped in a goal from the left circle with 45 seconds remaining for a 4-2 Lightning lead.
Point, Killorn and Miller scored power-play goals in the third, and Kucherov scored his first.
Tampa Bay finished 4 for 7 on the man-advantage.
—Field Level Media