NHL Game Summary - Columbus at Tampa Bay
(Friday, January 13th)
Final Score: Tampa Bay 4, Columbus 2
St. Petersburg, FL (Sports Network) - Martin St. Louis had a goal and an assist to pace the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 4-2 triumph over the Columbus Blue Jackets at the St. Pete Times Forum.
Ruslan Fedotenko, Vincent Lecavalier and Tim Taylor also scored for the Lightning, while Vaclav Prospal had two assists. Sean Burke stopped 22 shots for Tampa Bay, which snapped a two-game skid.
Head coach John Tortorella recorded his 143rd victory with the Lightning, moving past Terry Crisp for the most in franchise history.
Noticeably absent from the Tampa Bay lineup was Dave Andreychuk, who was waived by the team on Tuesday because he just couldn't keep up with the new speed of the NHL. He cleared waivers and was assigned to Springfield of the AHL, although he did not have to report. The AHL move was made so the team can pay the remainder of his salary for this season.
"I don't think the team was distracted, there were a lot of things going on around the club, but I thought the team practiced very well and like I said this morning, I don't think there was a terrible amount of anxiety going on with our team," Tortorella said. "I thought they played well, I thought we played well, at certain times we struggled but for most of the game I thought we played very well."
David Vyborny and Nikolai Zherdev scored for the Blue Jackets, who had a two- game winning streak broken and lost for the fourth time in six games.
Playing for the first time since last Saturday's 6-3 loss at Boston, the Lightning struck first. Taylor scored at 10:50 of the opening period off a scramble for the puck in front of the net.
Denis made two spectacular saves in close midway through the second period, including a stick stop on a rebound attempt by Vincent Lecavalier in front.
However, it became 2-0 at 13:14 of the second on Fedotenko's 11th tally of the season. Denis stopped Fredrik Modin's shot from the slot, but Fedotenko secured the puck with the end of his stick in front and dragged it into the net on the right side.
The Blue Jackets cut their deficit in half 31 seconds into the third when Zherdev's shot from the bottom of the right circle beat Burke high.
St. Louis scored on a breakaway 10:30 into the third after a long outlet pass from Nolan Pratt, but Columbus again got within a goal after Vyborny scored at 15:13 on a rebound to the right side of the net.
Lecavalier sealed the victory on a successful blast from the slot with 2:05 remaining.
This is the only meeting between the two teams this season...Tampa Bay has four wins (3-1-1) in the last five meetings...The Blue Jackets were 1-for-3 on the power play, compared to 0-for-6 for Tampa Bay...This most likely marked the end of Andreychuk's distinguished playing career. He finished with 640 goals during his tenure, including an NHL-record 274 on the power play. He spent time with six teams during his NHL life -- Buffalo, Toronto, New Jersey, Boston, Colorado and Tampa Bay...The Lightning franchise currently sits at 998 games played in their history. Tampa Bay will play their 1,000th game on January 17 at Los Angeles.
01/14 00:44:58 ET