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Blue Jackets strike Lightning with 3rd-period rally
Columbus, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - Mark Letestu tallied the game-winning goal on the power play to complete a third-period comeback as the Columbus Blue Jackets defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning, 3-2, at Nationwide Arena.
Tampa's Tyler Johnson went off for hooking with just under four minutes remaining. After a few opportunities on the man advantage, the hosts converted. Jack Johnson launched a shot from the point and Letestu redirected the shot to beat Anders Lindback with 2:38 to go, propelling his team to their fourth straight victory.
Ryan Johansen and Nathan Horton supplied the other two goals, while Johnson had two assists for the Blue Jackets, and Sergei Bobrovsky turned aside 26 shots.
"It seemed like we were fighting the whole first period on our power plays. We got it when it mattered and counts. We needed the power plays at the end there and those were big goals," said Horton.
The Lightning received goals from Alex Killorn and Victor Hedman, while Lindback allowed three goals on 28 shots. Tampa Bay has dropped three of five.
"[Lindback] really couldn't see them," said Killorn on shots from the point. "We have to do a better job."
After a Brandon Dubinsky goal was disallowed, Columbus officially got on the board at 3:46 of the second. Johansen fired a shot from the blue line through a maze of players and past a screened Lindback.
Tampa Bay evened it less than two minutes later after Dubinsky went off for cross-checking. Killorn deflected a shot from Matt Carle out of the air and into the net on the power play.
Hedman jumped up on the play and joined the offensive rush to give the Lightning the lead 57 seconds later. He took a pass from Johnson at the left circle and wristed a shot from the slot to beat Bobrovsky.
Horton notched his 200th career goal to tie the game at two at the 3:09 mark of the third. Horton moved up to the left circle and fired a wrister that beat Lindback over the shoulder.
Carle extended his point streak to seven games ... Columbus won the first matchup 1-0 on Dec. 3. The two teams will conclude their series on April 11 in Tampa Bay ... Goaltender Ben Bishop returned to the Lightning lineup to backup Lindback after missing three games with a sprained right wrist ... Six of the last seven games between the two teams have been decided by one goal.
01/13 23:17:59 ET
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