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Tyler Johnson scores 100th career goal as Lightning defeat Blue Jackets 5-0

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Johnson hits a career milestone and Vasilevskiy earns his league-leading fifth shutout of the season.

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning at Columbus Blue Jackets Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Lightning finished 2017 with a bang, defeating the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-0.

Play-by-play

The game starts with a good back and forth between the two teams, but not much in the way of actual shots on goal. Yanni Gourde is putting on a show - he’s all over the ice, disrupting plays and creating chances - basically just doing typical Gourde things. Andrei Vasilevskiy looks sharp as always. Mikhail Sergachev continues to impress with the poise of a seasoned veteran. All in all a very fun, fast-paced first period.

The second period starts with the same momentum. Sergachev breaks up a play, passes to Brayden Point, who connects with Tyler Johnson along the right wing board. Johnny puts it in the back of the net for his 100th career goal. 1-0 Lightning.

The Lightning create some momentum off of a power play and score just as the man advantage ends. Déjà vu? Sergachev to Point to Johnson again. 2-0 Lightning.

The Lightning are taking control of the game, establishing their rhythm and making every shift feel like a true scoring threat.

Ah, yes. That deadly top line reminds us all how much fun they can be when they’re clicking. Vladislav Namestnikov finds Nikita Kucherov who nets his 25th goal of the season. 3-0 Lightning.

Columbus looks stressed and isn’t responding well to the pressure. The result? A fourth Bolts goal, this time a slick passing play from Victor Hedman to Yanni Gourde to Cory Conacher. 4-0 Lightning.

There are (understandably) loud boos from the crowd in Columbus. In a matter of 8 minutes, the Bolts have completely taken over this game. The key now is to maintain their composure and avoid unnecessary fighting with a desperate Blue Jackets team. Despite a comfortable 4-0 lead, the Bolts are continuing to apply pressure throughout the rest of the second period, outshooting the Jackets 23-6.

The final frame begins with the return of a quick, balanced pace between the two teams. The Jackets are applying pressure, but Vasilevskiy proves to be up to the task.

Columbus takes a couple of penalties halfway through the third, and the Lightning cash in. Classic Bolts power play sequence: Kucherov to Hedman to Steven Stamkos. 5-0 Lightning.

I am thoroughly impressed with the Bolts attack. They are leading this game by an impressive margin, but unlike previous seasons, they’re not letting up. It’s so much fun to watch, and a promising sign of their dedication to play every second of every game regardless of the score. This mentality will serve them well as they pursue a deep playoff run.

The Good

Tyler Johnson has really taken off since being shifted from center to wing. He’s back in a top six role and absolutely thriving. Both of his goals tonight displayed his exceptional offensive skill. Congratulations on 100 NHL goals - here’s to 100 more in a Bolts uniform!

The Bad The Also Good (since I really don’t have any complaints)

Andrei Vasilevskiy continues to be an absolute wall, earning his league-leading fifth shutout of the season. He’s exceedingly comfortable in his role as starting goaltender. I know we’ve gotten used to his immense talent, but he deserves special recognition.

The Whatever

The Lightning took a few unnecessary penalties early in the game. They weren’t costly tonight (since the Blue Jackets have the worst power play in the league), but the Lightning need to learn to stay out of the box.

In summary: HAPPY 2018!