The Columbus Blue Jackets extended their postseason mastery of the Tampa Bay Lightning, beating the NHL’s best team 3-1 on Sunday night and moving to within a game of sweeping the playoff series.
Matt Duchene, Oliver Bjorkstrand and Cam Atkinson scored, and Sergei Bobrovsky fended off a desperate third-period charge to finish with 30 saves for the Blue Jackets, who took a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven, first-round series. Columbus will try to win a playoff series for the first time in franchise history in Game 4 at home Tuesday night.
Without their top scorer, the suspended Nikita Kucherov, and injured defenseman Victor Hedman, the Lightning, who won a league-best 62 games in the regular season, couldn’t find any momentum until late in the final period, and then Bobrovsky rose to the challenge. Ondrej Palat scored for Tampa Bay.
Columbus has commanded the series since they fell behind 3-0 in the opening period of Game 1, only to rally to win that one 4-3. They beat the Lightning 5-1 in Game 2, and solidly outplayed them for all but a few minutes on Sunday.
GOLDEN KNIGHTS 6, SHARKS 3
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Mark Stone had three goals and two assists, and Vegas beat San Jose to take a 2-1 lead in its first-round playoff series.
Paul Stastny collected two goals and three assists as Vegas captured another high-scoring matchup with San Jose. Max Pacioretty had a goal and an assist, defenseman Shea Theodore had three assists and Marc-Andre Fleury made 25 saves.
The Golden Knights and Sharks scored 15 times while splitting the first two games in San Jose. Game 4 of the best-of-seven series is Tuesday night in Las Vegas.
Kevin Labanc, Logan Couture and Tim Meier scored for San Jose, and Martin Jones stopped 34 shots.
JETS 6, BLUES 3
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Kyle Connor scored twice, Patrik Laine had a goal and an assist, and Winnipeg beat St. Louis to climb back into its playoff series.
Winnipeg dropped the first two games by one goal, but got back on track in St. Louis. Kevin Hayes, Brandon Tanev and Dustin Byfuglien also scored, and Connor Hellebuyck made 25 saves.
Game 4 of the best-of-seven series is Tuesday night in St. Louis.
David Perron, Vladimir Tarasenko and Alexander Steen scored for the Blues, and Jordan Binnington made 23 stops.
ISLANDERS 4, PENGUINS 1
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Jordan Eberle scored for the third straight game, Robin Lehner stopped 25 shots and New York stunned Pittsburgh to take a 3-0 lead in its best-of-seven, first-round playoffs series.
Brock Nelson added his second goal of the playoffs, Leo Komarov scored the first postseason goal of his career and Anders Lee also scored for the Islanders, who have pushed the star-laden Penguins to the brink of elimination.
Garrett Wilson scored Pittsburgh’s lone goal, a first-period deflection past Lehner that gave the Penguins just their second lead of the series.
Matt Murray finished with 32 saves for the Penguins, who need a win in Game 4 on Tuesday to avoid being swept for the first time since the 2013 Eastern Conference finals against Boston.