Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa Bay
Lightning
38-36-8
Columbus
Blue Jackets
29-46-7

28 SOG
28 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
TBL
CBJ
game recap

Lightning 3, Blue Jackets 2

Saturday, 12.17.2011 / 10:02 PM

Peter Pupello - Lightning Beat Reporter

Three Stars of the Game
Mathieu Garon
1st
SA: 28TOI: 60:00
GA: 2EV: 20-21
PIM: 0PP: 6-7
SV%: .929SH: 0-0
Vaclav Prospal
2nd
G: 0Shots: 1
A: 2Hits: 0
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 0TOI: 20:22
Steven Stamkos
3rd
G: 1Shots: 4
A: 1Hits: 1
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 2TOI: 21:21

MORE COVERAGE

MULTIMEDIA

NOTEWORTHY

  • Steven Stamkos has 4 goals and 3 assists in his last three games. His 20 goals on the season leads all NHL scorers
  • Goaltender Mathieu Garon started his sixth-straight game and earned the win against his former team. Garon sent the previous two seasons with Columbus
  • The Lightning trailed 11-5 in shots on goal after the first period, but evened things out with Columbus as both teams amassed 28 shots each on the night
  • The Lightning played the game without defenseman Matt Gilroy, who suffered a upper body injury in the 5-4 OT win over Calgary
  • Center Nate Thompson left the game in the first period due to an injury and did not return

Steven Stamkos continued his scoring surge Saturday night, proving again why he’s so valuable to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the absence of star-winger Martin St. Louis.

For the second consecutive game, Stamkos scored the game-winning goal and added an assist to lead the Lightning to a 3-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena.

The win was the second straight for Tampa Bay, which earned victories in consecutive games for the first time since sweeping a home-and-home series against the division-rival Panthers on the weekend after Thanksgiving.

“We’ve been playing pretty well, but haven’t had the results,” Stamkos added. “We controlled the puck well tonight.”

Blair Jones extended his point streak to three games with a goal, and Eric Brewer also scored for the Lightning, which got 26 saves from Mathieu Garon.

Garon, appearing in his sixth consecutive game, made his first return back to Columbus after spending the previous two seasons in goal for the Blue Jackets. He said the homecoming was secondary, however, as his focus instead was on helping his new team.

“It was a little different to see players who you used to play with year-round,” Garon said of his return. “But it was a fun experience [in Columbus], I had two good years there and my family really loved it, but I’ve turned the page and now I’m happy to be in Tampa.”

RJ Umberger and Rick Nash each had goals for the Blue Jackets.

Saturday’s game closed out a five-game home stand for Columbus, which wrapped up the stretch with a 1-3-1 record. They’ve now lost seven of their past 10 games.

Jones opened the scoring just over seven minutes in after deflecting a Teddy Purcell pass from behind the net past Columbus goaltender Steve Mason.

Brewer’s blast from above the right circle then added to the lead at 18:12 to give the Lightning a 2-0 advantage heading into the second.

“We were pleased after that first period,” Lightning assistant Dan Lacroix said. “We did a good job of driving towards the net and making plays.”

Tampa Bay has now scored a total of 12 goals in its past three games after recording the same number in its seven games prior.

A wrap-around goal by Umberger while on the power play cut the deficit in half at 5:43, but Stamkos re-took the two-goal lead 4:22 later after finishing off a beautiful tic-tac-toe play with Vincent Lecavalier and Dana Tyrell.

“We got some great momentum on that goal,” Stamkos said. “I was actually tying to set it up, but Vinny’s a great player and he made a great play there.”

Stamkos now has four goals and six points in his past three games. His tally in Saturday’s contest gave him 20 on the season to lead all NHL skaters.

Nash brought Columbus back within one with approximately eight minutes to go in the frame after sneaking a backhand past Garon’s pad for his 10th of the season.

The Lightning net minder settled in after that and made some big saves down the stretch, including one on James Wisniewski late in the third to preserve the one-goal lead until the final horn.

“We brought a lot of drive and we made a lot of good plays,” Lecavalier said. ‘We’ve been playing some pretty good hockey and we’re getting a few wins right now, so we just got to keep it rolling.”

scoring summary
1st Period
07:27
TBL
Blair Jones (2) Wrist shot - ASST: Teddy Purcell (11)
1 - 0 TBL
18:12
TBL
Eric Brewer (1) Slapshot - ASST: Steven Stamkos (17), Ryan Malone (9)
2 - 0 TBL
2nd Period
05:43
CBJ
PPG - RJ Umberger (6) Wrap-around - ASST: Vinny Prospal (18), Fedor Tyutin (11)
2 - 1 TBL
10:05
TBL
Steven Stamkos (20) Snap shot - ASST: Vincent Lecavalier (11), Dana Tyrell (5)
3 - 1 TBL
12:14
CBJ
Rick Nash (10) Backhand shot - ASST: Jeff Carter (6), Vinny Prospal (19)
3 - 2 TBL
3rd Period
NONE
penalty summary
1st Period
11:06
CBJ
James Wisniewski  Tripping against  Dana Tyrell
12:03
TBL
Pavel Kubina  Tripping against  Antoine Vermette
15:46
TBL
Victor Hedman  Holding against  Rick Nash
2nd Period
05:09
TBL
Blair Jones  Cross checking against  Mark Letestu
15:56
TBL
Steve Downie  Slashing against  James Wisniewski
3rd Period
05:41
CBJ
Ryan Johansen  Tripping against  Steve Downie
15:57
CBJ
James Wisniewski  Unsportsmanlike conduct
16:52
TBL
Eric Brewer  Hooking against  Derek MacKenzie
goalie stats
Mathieu Garon
Mathieu Garon
8-8-1
SA: 28TOI: 60:00
Saves: 26EV: 20 - 21
PIM: 0PP: 6 - 7
SV%: .929SH: 0 - 0
Steve Mason
Steve Mason
4-13-1
SA: 28TOI: 59:09
Saves: 25EV: 24 - 27
PIM: 0PP: 1 - 1
SV%: .893SH: 0 - 0