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Lightning take big lead, hold on for 7-4 win

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Tyler Johnson scored twice and Ryan Callahan added a goal and two assists to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 7-4 victory over Columbus on Saturday night, winning their fifth in a row and extending the Blue Jackets’ losing streak to eight games.

Cedric Paquette, Anton Stralman and Brian Boyle also had goals, and J.T. Brown added a goal and an assist for the Lightning, who have outscored opponents 27-15 during their streak. Jonathan Drouin had two assists.

For the second straight night, Scott Hartnell had two goals for the Blue Jackets. Ryan Johansen added a goal and an assist, Nick Foligno also scored, and James Wisniewski had two assists.

Columbus had lost six in a row in regulation before earning a point in a 3-2 overtime loss at Carolina on Friday.

The longest losing streak in the Blue Jackets’ 14 seasons is nine games (0-7-2) from Dec. 10-26, 2009.

Down 6-2 heading into the third period, the Blue Jackets gave the crowd of 14,892 something to cheer about with quick goals by Johansen and Foligno.

Evgeni Nabokov, who stopped 28 shots, made his biggest save of the night seconds later, denying Cam Atkinson at the left doorstep on a couple of whacks.

After Johnson scored an empty-net goal late, he appeared to yell at Johansen as he skated by — prompting Hartnell to blindside him in retribution.

The game seemed to be all but over a little more than 16 minutes in.

Brown scored his first of the season, chipping in his own blocked redirect high into the net at 5:46.

Just 21 seconds later, before Brown’s goal was completely announced, Drouin’s shot led to a big rebound off rookie goalie Anton Forsberg, with Paquette on the right wing to jam it in.

Then on the power play, Steven Stamkos’ hard wrist shot from the point was redirected by Callahan, with Stralman converting on another rebound to make it 3-0 at 12:31.

It became 4-0 at 14:41 when Brown carried the puck up on a rush but was checked and slammed hard into the back boards. Brenden Morrow collected the puck and whipped a quick pass to a trailing Boyle for the easy tap-in.

It could have been even worse. Columbus defenseman Tim Erixon grabbed Nikita Kucherov on a breakaway, leading to a penalty shot. The puck slid away from Kucherov on a move to the net.

Hartnell got a stick on a pass on the power play at 4:11 of the second, the puck appearing to bounce off his backside or leg and past Nabokov to make it 4-1.

Soon after, however, Callahan scored when a shot by Valtteri Filppula hit him and deflected in as he was decked in the crease by defenseman David Savard.

After Hartnell converted on a nifty blind, backward pass by Nick Foligno to make it 5-2, Johnson restored the four-goal lead during a power play.

NOTES: Columbus D Jack Johnson served the second of his three-game suspension for a high hit against Carolina’s Jiri Tlusty. … The Lightning opened a three-game, four-day road swing that will also take them to Detroit (Sunday) and Chicago (Tuesday).


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