Just to give a snap recap of the Tampa Bay Lightning's matinee affair against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday afternoon: Victory returns to the Lightning locker room as Tampa Bay shut out the Blue Jackets 4-0. Captain Steven Stamkos had two goals - one at even strength and one a short-handed score. Stamkos also got an assist on the Lightning's other short-handed goa that was, scored by Ondrej Palat.
This was a chippy little fray though, with a few scrums and a generla feistiness coming from the Jackets end. Yet ofensive attempts were also an all-around thing: The clubs combined for 74 shots on goal, having 37 shots each. Ben Bishop excelled at the deed before him and lowered his season goals against average to 2.02. It was also his 14th shutout of his Tampa Bay Lightning career.
Another notable accomplishment of this game was Stamkos' first goal of the afternoon. It was his 30th tally of the season, with the assist coming form Nikita Kucherov -- his 30th assist of the season. That factor should show how coach Jon Cooper had shifted around line combinations for the game: Kucherov was paired with Stamkos and J.T. Brown on the top line while Vladdy Namestnikov (who had the Lightning's second goal of the game) was paired with Ondrej Palat and Tyler Johnson on the 2nd line. These shifts came by way of injuries and the team's scoring slump of the past week; Tampa Bay had been outscored 8-3 in it's games against Philadelphia (4-2, 3-1) and Boston (1-0). as for the injuries, Erik Condra and Jonathan Marchessault were out of action, Mike Blunden played with Brian Boyle on the 4th line and the roster was set to an 11 forward, 7 defenseman split.
The Lightning head north for their next contest, facing off against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre on Tuesday night at 7:30.