A tough night.
Tim Berni scored his first NHL goal but Nikita Kucherov's four-point night powered the Lightning past the Blue Jackets 6-3 at Amalie Arena Tuesday.
Kucherov opened the scoring on a deflection from the right doorstep at 1:40 after Jack Roslovic turned the puck over nearly immediately after intercepting a pass from Kucherov.
Carson Meyer had the first good chance for the Blue Jackets at 3:29 when he hustled his way to the puck in the right corner and drove to the net but his backhand attempt was denied by Andrei Vasilevskiy.
The Lightning doubled their lead on the power play at 9:05 when Nick Paul received a slap-pass from Kucherov in the slot and directed the puck past Elvis Merzlikins.
Gustav Nyquist took the puck away from Kucherov in the left corner in the offensive zone and then received a pass from Patrik Laine in front of the net, but was denied by Vasilevskiy at 15:26.
The Lightning took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission along with a 21-6 advantage in shots on goal.
Gavin Bayreuther got the Jackets on the board and cut the lead in half at 7:04 on a blast from the point.
Vladislav Namestnikov gave Tampa Bay a 3-1 lead on a backhand shot on a breakaway at 10:25.
The Lightning nearly took a 4-1 lead at 19:38 when Victor Hedman hit the crossbar with a backhand shot from the slot.
Tampa took a 3-1 lead into the third period with a 33-13 advantage in shots on goal.
Berni scored his first NHL goal at 4:35 on a wrist shot from the slot after a great forecheck from Laine created the play.
Kucherov scored again to give Tampa a 4-2 lead on the power play with a slap shot from the right circle at 6:33.
Tampa scored again on the power play when Brayden Point moved his way through the slot and fired a backhand shot past Merzlikins at 12:22.
The Lightning scored again at 13:48 when Ross Colton fired a rebound from the slot with a slap shot.
Kirill Marchenko cut the deficit to three at 16:34 when he corralled his own rebound and fired a top-shelf wrist shot from below the left goal line past Vasilevskiy.
The 6-3 score held as the Blue Jackets fell to 12-26-2.
- Shots on Goal: CBJ 23-46 TBL
- Faceoff %: CBJ 33.3-66.7 TBL
- Power play: CBJ 0/1-3/4 TBL
- Takeaways: CBJ 5-9 TBL
- Giveaways: CBJ 3-10 TBL
- Blocked shots: CBJ 13-15 TBL
- Hits: CBJ 41-25 TBL
5-on-5 stats (via naturalstattrick.com):
- Expected Goals (xG): CBJ 2.41-3.09 TBL
- Chances (CF): CBJ 48-58 TBL
- Shots (SF): CBJ 20-38 TBL
- Scoring Chances (SCF): CBJ 25-35 TBL
- High-Danger Chances (HDCF): CBJ 12-16 TBL
Carson Meyer left tonight's game in the second period with an upper-body injury and did not return. Vladislav Gavrikov did not play tonight due to an upper-body injury he suffered in Sunday's loss against the Capitals. Eric Robinson remains day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Daniil Tarasov was placed on IR retroactive to Dec. 30 with an upper-body injury and he is listed as day-to-day.
The Blue Jackets return home to take on the Hurricanes at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday on Bally Sports Ohio and 97.1 FM The Fan.
The club heads to Detroit to take on the Red Wings on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET on Bally Sports Ohio and 97.1 FM The Fan.