Oliver Bjorkstrand scored the go-ahead goal late in the first period to lift the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 3-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference first-round series in Toronto.
Defenseman Ryan Murray and Alexander Wennberg also scored, and Pierre-Luc Dubois had two assists for the Blue Jackets, who evened the series at one victory apiece after a crushing five-overtime defeat in Game 1 on Tuesday.
The Lightning had a 37-22 shots advantage, yet were short on quality scoring chances thanks to a signature Columbus defensive effort. The Blue Jackets deployed their customary game plan of controlling the middle of the ice.
Following his NHL-record 85-save performance in Tuesday’s marathon, Columbus goaltender Joonas Korpisalo delivered another big performance on Thursday. He turned aside 36 shots — allowing only Nikita Kucherov’s first-period tally — and made a big save on Blake Coleman in the final five minutes of play.
Hurricanes 3, Bruins 2
In just his second game since suffering a broken leg in January, Dougie Hamilton scored with 11:30 remaining to break a tie, and “visiting” Carolina defeated Boston in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference first-round series in Toronto to even the best-of-seven set going into Saturday afternoon’s Game 3.
Hamilton’s goal was set up by Martin Necas’ second assist of the game. Necas circled behind the net and sent a pass to Hamilton, and the All-Star defenseman — and former Bruin — unleashed a blast from the right side.
Teuvo Teravainen and Andrei Svechnikov also scored for the Hurricanes, and Svechnikov added an assist. Carolina goalie James Reimer made 33 saves. David Krejci and Brad Marchand had the Boston goals. Tuukka Rask stopped 23 shots.
Golden Knights 4, Blackhawks 3 (OT)
Reilly Smith scored in the first overtime to push Las Vegas past “visiting” Chicago in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series in Edmonton.
Smith and Paul Stastny each had a goal and an assist, Tomas Nosek and Mark Stone also scored, Jonathan Marchessault had two assists, and Robin Lehner made 22 saves for top-seeded Vegas, which has a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Kirby Dach, Dominik Kubalik and Dylan Strome scored, Patrick Kane had three assists, and Corey Crawford made 35 saves for the 12th-seeded Blackhawks. Kane’s three assists gave him 130 career-playoff points, and moved him past Bobby Hull into third on the all-time franchise list behind Denis Savard (145) and Stan Mikita (150).
–Field Level Media