Monday's NHL playoffs: Lightning win 2-1, put Blue Jackets on brink of elimination

Associated Press

Toronto — Andrei Vasilevskiy had 28 saves and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1 on Monday to take a 3-1 lead in their Eastern Conference playoff series.

Barclay Goodrow and Yanni Gourde each had a goal and an assist as the Lightning pushed the Blue Jackets to the verge of elimination after being swept by Columbus in the first round of the 2019 playoffs.

Tampa Bay Lightning center Yanni Gourde (37) is congratulated on his goal by defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (22) and center Blake Coleman (20) after scoring against the Columbus Blue Jackets during the second period of NHL Eastern Conference Stanley Cup first-round playoff hockey action in Toronto

Game 5 is Wednesday.

“Every game has been a battle, and I don’t expect any different going forward,” said Lightning center Blake Coleman, who assisted on Goodrow’s score. “They’re not going to be a team that lays over for us. Being up 3-1 is great, but it doesn’t mean anything if you don’t take care of business.”

Cam Atkinson scored for Columbus, and Joonas Korpisalo had 20 saves.

The Blue Jackets seemed to have recharged after running out of gas in the Game 3 loss. They got the first goal early in the first period, but it was waved off because Alexandre Texier was offside entering the zone.

Then the Lightning scored twice in the first five minutes of the second period.

They opened the scoring 16 seconds into the second when Goodrow chopped at the puck in traffic in front of Korpisalo and popped it over his blocker. Gourde made it 2-0 by redirecting a long shot by Kevin Shattenkirk at the 4:09 mark.

Less than two minutes later, Atkinson got credit for the Columbus goal when a long shot by Pierre-Luc Dubois pinballed between Atkinson and the goalie before going into the net. Vasilevskiy argued for goalie interference to no avail.

“The real key is (the last two) games we were up by two, and let up, you know, a goal at pretty crucial times where they might gain momentum off of something,” said Lightning defenseman Kevin Shatternkirk, who had an assist on Gourde’s goal. “And I think we did a great job of resetting, you know, realizing that we have a two-goal lead for a reason, and when it goes down to one we’re still in control.”

Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said it was gratifying to see the Gourde-Goodrow-Coleman line finally rewarded for their hard work.

“The one thing is, they set the tone for us,” Cooper said. “They started every game. You know they’re like gnats. I feel like they’re just always buzzing around and you try to knock them away and they just never leave. They put work ethic above everything else. They’re selfless players, and they don’t have an off-switch.”

Columbus took a penalty for too many men on the ice with 1:07 left in the game, which interrupted its late 6-on-5 push.

“There’s no sense being frustrated,” Columbus coach John Tortorella said. “Just get ready for our next game.

“I love our team,” he said. “I like the way they have handled themselves so the whole time out here in the bubble.”

Atkinson said the Blue Jackets played well enough to win. Korpisalo added that it was probably the team’s best game of the series so far.

“I thought we did some, some pretty good things,” Atkinson said. “You can see the pucks bouncing like crazy on a lot of plays. Overall, I thought we played a pretty solid game. It’s just one of those things.”

More NHL playoffs

Colorado 7, Arizona 1: Nazem Kadri had two goals and an assist, Philipp Grubauer stopped 14 shots, and Colorado took a 3-1 lead the first-round playoff series.

The Avalanche jumped on Arizona after losing 4-2 in Game 3, scoring three first-period goals, two by Kadri on the power play.

Matt Calvert, Cale Makar and Mikko Rantanen each had a goal and an assist. Grubauer was sharp after Pavel Francouz started Game 3.

Matt Nieto and Joonas Donskoi also scored to put Colorado in position to clinch the series Wednesday.

Darcy Kuemper gave up four goals on 22 shots before being replaced by Antti Raanta in the third period and Jakob Chychrun scored for the Coyotes, who were held to 15 shots.

Boston 4, Carolina 3: Jake DeBrusk scored twice in Boston’s dominating third period to help the Bruins rally and take a 3-1 lead in their first-round playoff series.

Brad Marchand and Connor Clifton also scored in the third, helping Boston erase a 2-0 deficit entering the period. It was a stunning turnaround – complete with the Bruins taking a 16-2 edge in shots on goal in those final 20 minutes.

Game 5 is Wednesday.

Justin Williams and Jordan Martinook scored to give Carolina the 2-0 lead before the Bruins ran off four straight goals, while Teuvo Teravainen added a goal at 18:33 of the third to bring Carolina within one.

James Reimer finished with 29 saves for the Hurricanes. Jaroslav Halak stopped 16 shots for Boston.

St. Louis 3, Vancouver 1: Ryan O’Reilly had two goals and an assist as the Blues beat the Canucks in Game 4 to even in their first-round playoff series.

Alex Pietrangelo also scored for the Blues and added an assist. Jake Allen made 22 saves.

J.T. Miller scored for the Canucks, and Jacob Markstrom stopped 34 shots.

Game 5 is Wednesday.

O’Reilly gave the Blues a 2-1 lead at 6:52 of the second as he took a pass out of the corner from David Perron, walked out in front of the net and flicked a backhander into the top corner for the second two-goal playoff game of his career.

The Blues then caught a break on a two-man advantage. Pietrangelo zipped the puck through traffic in the crease and the puck hit Edler’s stick and went in with 4:13 to go in the middle period.

O’Reilly, last year’s Conn Smythe Trophy winner as the MVP in the Blues’ Stanley Cup run, scored late in the first period on the power play – the first time the Blues have opened the scoring in the series.

Pietrangelo sent a slap shot that missed the net, but the puck caromed straight back off the backboards to O’Reilly standing beside the goal post. O’Reilly elevated the puck from a sharp angle under the crossbar with 3:37 left.

Vancouver tied it just 40 seconds into the second period. Alex Edler wristed the puck from the blue line. Miller redirected it and it bounced past Allen for his fourth goal of the postseason.

The Blues have now won two straight after dropping five in a row in return-to-play action.

Eastern Conference

No. 1 Philadelphia leads No. 8 Montreal, 2-1

Aug. 12: Philadelphia 2, Montreal 1

Aug. 14: Montreal 5, Philadelphia 0

Aug. 16: Philadelphia 1, Montreal 0

Aug. 18: Philadelphia vs. Montreal, 3

Aug. 19: Montreal vs. Philadelphia, 8

x-Aug. 21: Philadelphia vs. Montreal, TBD

x-Aug. 23: Montreal vs. Philadelphia, TBD

No. 2 Tampa Bay leads vs. No. 7 Columbus, 3-1

Aug. 11: Tampa Bay 3, Columbus 2, 5OT

Aug. 13: Columbus 3, Tampa Bay 1

Aug. 15: Tampa Bay 3, Columbus 2

Aug. 17: Tampa Bay 2, Columbus 1

Aug. 19: Columbus vs. Tampa Bay, noon

x-Aug. 21: Tampa Bay vs. Columbus, TBD

x-Aug. 22: Columbus vs. Tampa Bay, TBD

No. 6 N.Y. Islanders lead vs. No. 3 Washington, 3-0

Aug. 12: N.Y. Islanders 4, Washington 2

Aug. 14: N.Y. Islanders 5, Washington 2

Aug. 16: N.Y. Islanders 2, Washington 1 (OT)

Aug. 18: Washington vs. N.Y. Islanders, 8

x-Aug. 20: N.Y. Islanders vs. Washington, TBD

x-Aug. 22: Washington vs. N.Y. Islanders, TBD

x-Aug. 23: N.Y. Islanders vs. Washington, TBD

No. 4 Boston leads vs. No. 5 Carolina, 3-1

Aug. 12: Boston 4, Carolina 3, 2OT

Aug. 13: Carolina 3, Boston 2

Aug. 15: Boston 3, Carolina 1

Aug. 17: Boston 4, Carolina 3 

Aug. 19: Carolina vs. Boston, 4

x-Aug. 20: Boston vs. Carolina, TBD

x-Aug. 23: Carolina vs. Boston, TBD

Western Conference

No. 1 Las Vegas leads vs. No. 8 Chicago, 3-1

Aug. 11: Las Vegas 4 Chicago 1

Aug. 13: Las Vegas 4, Chicago 3, OT

Aug. 15: Las Vegas 2, Chicago 1

Aug. 16: Chicago 3, Las Vegas 1

Aug. 18: Chicago vs. Las Vegas, 10:30

x-Aug. 20: Las Vegas vs. Chicago, TBD

x-Aug. 22: Chicago vs. Las Vegas, TBD

No. 2 Colorado leads vs. No. 7 Arizona, 3-1

Aug. 12: Colorado 3, Arizona 0

Aug. 14: Colorado 3, Arizona 2

Aug. 15: Arizona 4, Colorado 2

Aug. 17: Colorado 7, Arizona 1

Aug. 19: Arizona vs. Colorado, 5:30

x-Aug. 21: Colorado vs. Arizona, TBD

x-Aug. 23: Arizona vs. Colorado, TBD

No. 3 Dallas tied with No. 6 Calgary, 2-2

Aug. 11: Calgary 3, Dallas 2

Aug. 13: Dallas 5, Calgary 4

Aug. 14: Calgary 2, Dallas 0

Aug. 16: Dallas 5, Calgary 4 (OT)

Aug. 18: Calgary vs. Dallas, 5:30 

Aug. 20: Dallas vs. Calgary, TBD

x-Aug. 22: Calgary vs. Dallas, TBD

No. 4 St. Louis tied vs. No. 5 Vancouver, 2-2

Aug. 12: Vancouver 5, St. Louis 2

Aug. 14: Vancouver 4, St. Louis 3, OT

Aug. 16: St. Louis 3, Vancouver 2 (OT)

Aug. 17: St. Louis 3, Vancouver 1

Aug. 19: Vancouver vs. St. Louis, 10:30 

Aug. 21: St. Louis vs. Vancouver, TBD

x-Aug. 23: Vancouver vs. St. Louis, TBD

x-if necessary