Lightning beat Blue Jackets to take 2-1 series lead


TORONTO — Andrei Vasilevskiy made 16 saves and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 on Saturday night to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven playoff series.

Alex Killorn, Brayden Point and Victor Hedman scored, and the Lightning held off a 6-on-5 push by the Blue Jackets late.

Game 4 is Monday.

Riley Nash and Eric Robinson scored for the Blue Jackets, and Joonas Korpisalo made 31 stops after piling up 121 saves in the first two games of the series, including a five-overtime loss Tuesday night.

After the Blue Jackets came up empty on over a minute of a 5-one-3 advantage, Killhorn made it 1-0 for the Lightning with 4:12 left in the first period when he dragged the puck around diving Columbus defenceman David Savard and beat Korpisalo between the pads.

Nash got his first goal of the playoffs to tie it early in the second. He took a feed from Gus Nyquist just below the blue line and rifled a shot from the left circle over Vasilevskiy’s glove.

Point put the Lightning up again with 5:44 left in the second when he put back a shot that had bounced off Korpisalo. Hedman got his first goal of the playoffs and pushed the Tampa Bay lead to 3-1 with 1:07 left in the period.

Columbus got back within one early in the third period when rookie Robinson followed his own rebounded shot and beat Vasilevskiy.

The Lightning outshot Columbus 34-17, including 16-4 in the second period.

NOTES: Columbus forwards Cam Atkinson and Nathan Gerbe were listed as unfit to play. … Entering the game, Tampa Bay led the NHL for shots per game (42.4) and shot attempt percentage (59.5%) in the 2020 playoffs. … Point has seven points in six playoff games.