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Johnson's hat trick powers Lightning over Avalanche
Tampa, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Rookie Tyler Johnson registered his first career hat trick as the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Colorado Avalanche 5-2.
Victor Hedman collected three assists and Ben Bishop turned aside 25 shots for the Lightning, who have won three games in a row and ended the Avalanche's four-game road winning streak.
Colorado goaltender Sami Aittokallio, making his second career NHL start, gave up three goals on 18 shots and was pulled after the second period.
Regular backup Jean-Sebastien Giguere was supposed to start against the Lightning in the second game of a back-to-back, but a stiff back led to the 21-year-old Aittokallio getting the nod between the pipes.
Semyon Varlamov stopped nine shots in the third. He made 34 saves as the Avalanche kicked off a three-game road trip with a 3-2 win over Florida on Friday.
Most of the action was confined to the second period. After a scoreless opening 20 minutes, the teams combined for five goals in the middle frame.
The Lightning raced out to a 3-0 lead, but John Mitchell and Tyson Barrie scored 30 seconds apart for Colorado.
Johnson's second goal made it 4-2 at 14:38 of the third. Hedman's point shot was blocked and Johnson jumped on the puck, scoring from just below the left circle.
He completed the hat trick at 16:55, tipping a one-time blast by Hedman.
"I thought for the majority of the game we played pretty well except for that little stint," Johnson said.
Tampa Bay scored 1:33 apart in the second period, beginning when Johnson put home a rebound at 7:15. Ondrej Palat dropped the puck to a trailing Hedman on a rush and fired a long drive that Aittokallio initially stopped.
Mark Barberio made it 2-0 with a knuckleball shot from the top of the right circle that fluttered past the Finnish netminder at 8:48.
"Those first two goals I've got to make those saves," Aittokallio admitted.
The lead grew to 3-0 when Valtteri Filppula, alone in tight, had his rebound go in off his leg with 1:56 remaining.
The Avalanche quickly closed the gap before the intermission. Mitchell, who missed the game against the Panthers because of an illness, tipped home a Gabriel Landeskog slap shot with 1:27 left, then Barrie jumped into the play and buried a shot from the slot with 57 seconds remaining.
Tampa Bay captain Martin St. Louis picked up an assist to push his point streak to 10 games ... Aittokallio made his NHL debut April 11 last season in Los Angeles. He stopped 23 shots for the Avalanche before leaving in the third period with leg cramps ... Colorado wraps up its road trip Monday in Dallas ... Both teams were 0-for-3 on the power play.
01/26 00:05:30 ET
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