COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Mikhail Sergachev scored his first two NHL goals and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 43 saves for his fifth career shutout in the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 2-0 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night.
Nikita Kucherov assisted on both goals to push his NHL-leading points total to 14. His goals streak was stopped at seven games.
The Lightning took advantage of the few openings offered by Sergei Bobrovsky, who stopped 19 shots for the Blue Jackets and lost for the first time this season. Columbus had won four straight.
The Lightning, coming off an overtime loss to New Jersey on Tuesday night, improved to 6-1-1 for their best start opening 7-0-1 in their Stanley Cup-winning 2003-04 season.
Columbus dropped to 5-2-0, hurt by uncharacteristic sloppy passing and continued power-play problems in its first shutout loss of the season.
Sergachev opened the scoring with 2:12 left in the first period when he unloaded from the left point and beat Bobrovsky just inside the near post. Kucherov assisted, as did Vladislov Namestnikov, who wrested the puck away from Columbus’ Cam Atkinson in the corner.
Sergachev got his second with 4:23 left in the second. He scored from the high slot off a nice feed from Kucherov. Steven Stamkos also was credited with an assist, giving him six in the last four games.
NOTES: Kucherov and Stamkos have at least one point in all eight games this season….Columbus was 0 for 3 on the power player to drop to 1 for 19 overall. … D Scott Harrington and F Markus Hannikainen were healthy scratches for the Blue Jackets. … F J.T. Brown, who hasn’t played since he raised his fist in protest during the national anthem Oct. 7, was scratched for Lightning, as were C Cedric Paquette and D Slater Koekkoek.
Lightning: Host Pittsburgh on Saturday night.
Blue Jackets: Host Los Angeles on Saturday night.
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