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(Friday, April 11th)
Final Score: Tampa Bay 3, Columbus 2
Tampa, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Eric Brewer scored two goals and Kristers Gudlevskis won his first career start as the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets, 3-2, on Friday.
Ondrej Palat supplied a power-play goal and Cedric Paquette notched his first career point with an assist on Brewer's first goal for the Lightning, who won their third straight game.
Gudlevskis turned aside 36 shots in the win. He was called up by the Lightning on Wednesday after the team announced that starter Ben Bishop would sit out the remainder of the regular season due to an upper-body injury.
"He won. To me, that's how I judge goaltenders, win the game and that's just what he did," said Lightning head coach Jon Cooper on Gudlevskis. "That was as entertaining hockey as we have seen here in awhile."
Boone Jenner tallied a goal and an assist for the Blue Jackets, who had their three-game win streak snapped. David Savard also scored and netminder Curtis McElhinney made 19 saves in the loss.
"They are a really good team. It was hard to get pucks on the net, especially from the points," said Savard.
The Lightning jumped into second place in the Atlantic with a point advantage over Montreal and currently holds home ice advantage against their first-round opponent. Columbus still holds the first wild card spot in the Eastern Conference and are tied with idle Philadelphia and Detroit with 91 points.
After a scoreless first, Palat opened the scoring on a power play at 3:55 of the second. Alex Killorn stepped up on the play and stripped a Columbus defender of the puck. He skated towards the back of the net and slipped a pass into the slot to Palat, who wristed a shot past McElhinney.
Columbus responded with a power-play goal of its own with 6:14 left in the middle stanza. Ryan Johansen sent a cross-ice pass to Jack Johnson, who fired a shot from the left circle. Jenner redirected the shot in the slot to knot the game at one.
The tie did not last long as Brewer supplied two goals in a span of 3:12 to stake the Lightning to a 3-1 advantage.
Brewer's wrister beat McElhinney at 14:54, and he scored his second of the night after firing a shot from the left circle that bounced off McElhinney's shoulder and into the back of the net with 1:54 remaining in the middle frame.
The Blue Jackets made it a 3-2 game with 3:23 left in the game. Jenner emerged from behind the net and slid the puck to Savard, who got Columbus within one on the one-timer.
Columbus pulled the netminder with 1:49 left to play, but could not tie the game.
Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman suffered a lower-body injury and did not come out for the second period .. Columbus forward Nathan Horton had abdominal surgery on Friday and will miss six weeks ... Palat extended his point streak to six games ... The Blue Jackets will conclude their regular season with a visit to Florida on Saturday ... Tampa Bay will travel to Washington on Sunday to play its final game before the playoffs.
04/12 01:26:28 ET