Brayden Point’s second overtime goal of the series helped the Lightning finish off the Blue Jackets with a 5-4 win in Game 5.
Point, who had four goals in the series, including the winner in the fifth overtime of Game 1, was left alone in front following a Columbus defensive zone turnover. Nikita Kucherov picked up the turned over puck and whipped a pass to find Point for the series winner.
It was a game that featured four different lead changes and comebacks from both teams. Tampa got out quickly to a 2-0 lead thanks to goals from Tyler Johnson and Blake Coleman in the opening 6:39 of the first period. But Columbus wouldn’t go away that easy.
Nick Foligno, Kevin Stenlund, Alexander Wennberg, and Oliver Bjorkstrand would score as the Blue Jackets flipped the game in their favor with a 4-2 lead. The Lightning made quick work to knot the score again with Kevin Shattenkirk and Anthony Cirelli getting goals in a span of 6:21 late in the third period to force overtime.
It was Point, who had seven points in the series, who made the pass that banked off Cirelli’s skate for the tying goal.
“We kept an even-keel on the bench for the most part,” Point said afterward. “Second period I thought we started to get away from our game and then they took it to us. After that fourth goal went in, we kind of almost just settled down, got back to playing our system and our game.”
Call it Elimination Wednesday?
It’s been 491 days since the Blue Jackets completed their shocking sweep of the Presidents’ Trophy winning Lightning last season. It was no surprise that the rematch a year later was a tight series with four of the five games being decided by a single goal.
Tampa now gets some downtime to watch how the rest of the Eastern Conference First Round plays out as they await their next opponent.
No. 2 Tampa Bay Lightning vs. No. 7 Columbus Blue Jackets (TB wins 4-1)
Tuesday, Aug. 11: Lightning 3, Blue Jackets 2 (5OT) (recap)
Thursday, Aug. 13: Blue Jackets 3, Lightning 1 (recap)
Saturday, Aug. 15: Lightning 3, Blue Jackets 2 (recap)
Monday, Aug. 17: Lightning 2, Blue Jackets 1 (recap)
Wednesday, Aug. 19: Lightning 5, Blue Jackets 4 (OT)