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POST GAME: at Tampa Bay

Johansen and Lebda score for the Blue Jackets

Tuesday, 01.24.2012 / 10:45 PM ET / News
By Rob Mixer  - BlueJackets.com (@RobMixer)
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POST GAME: at Tampa Bay

An old alliance gave the Tampa Bay Lightning a jolt just when it was needed.

The Blue Jackets were hanging around for much of tonight’s game at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, and were either tied or within a goal on a pair of occasions – but the Lightning used a sweet set-up from Vincent Lecavalier to Martin St. Louis to deliver a huge goal in the second period.

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Tampa Bay got an insurance goal in the third period from Nate Thompson to earn its fourth straight win by a 4-2 final before a crowd of 16,589. The Blue Jackets head into the All-Star Break on a four-game winless skid, and haven’t won in five games away from Nationwide Arena.

Mike Angelidis, playing in his first NHL game since being recalled from Norfolk (AHL) earlier in the day, scored on his second shift to put the Lightning ahead 1-0 at 13:20 of the opening period. He came in down the right side and put a backhander on goal that got through Blue Jackets goalie Curtis Sanford. The Blue Jackets tied it up less than two minutes later as Brett Lebda snuck in from his point position and roofed a wrist shot over Mathieu Garon’s shoulder at 15:07.

The Lightning took advantage of their second-period power play opportunities at 8:19 of the middle stanza, as Lecavalier tipped in Bruno Gervais’ point shot to give Tampa Bay a 2-1 lead. In the closing minutes of the period, Lecavalier and St. Louis connected on a beautiful give-and-go to push the Lightning’s lead to 3-1 with the eventual game-winning goal.

Ryan Johansen sniped his ninth goal of the year at 5:40 of the third period to bring the Blue Jackets within a goal, beating Garon far-post from the left circle with a nice wrist shot. Thompson’s fifth of the season came from the side of the net with 8:31 to play, capping the 4-2 final.

Perhaps the game may have ended differently if the Blue Jackets had gone to the locker room after two periods down just one goal, but the St. Louis goal was the “dagger” tonight. Columbus got caught in a rush up the ice, and Lecavalier took advantage on a 2-on-2 situation. His backhand saucer pass got all the way across to St. Louis for the tap-in, and a two-goal lead late in the period.

Lebda, who made his Blue Jackets debut last night at Nashville, scored his first goal with the club tonight. It was his first goal since Feb. 24, 2011 at Montreal (with Toronto), a span of 14 games.

Derick Brassard picked up his first assist in five games with a helper on Lebda’s goal. He last had an assist Jan. 13 vs. Phoenix. He has tallied 3-3-6 the last 10 games and has 5-6-11 the last 17 games after being held to 2-3-5 the first 24 games of the season.

R.J. Umberger picked up an assist on Lebda’s goal, his first helper in five games. He last had an assist Dec. 31 vs. Washington. He added another assist on Johansen’s goal for his first multi-point outing since notching two assists Dec. 22 at Nashville. He has collected 2-8-10 the last 13 games after being held to 2-1-3 the previous nine games. He has 4-6-10 in 17 career games against the Lightning.

Lebda, who made his Blue Jackets debut last night at Nashville, scored his first goal with the club tonight. It was his first goal since Feb. 24, 2011 at Montreal (with Toronto), a span of 14 games.

vs. San Jose Sharks
HP Pavilion at San Jose | San Jose, Calif.
Tuesday, 10:30 p.m.
TV: FOX Sports Ohio (HD)
Radio: 97.1 The Fan & BlueJackets.com

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