Stamkos has 1st 100-point season, Bolts top Blue Jackets 4-1

TAMPA, FL - APRIL 26: Ondrej Palat #18 of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrates a goal with teammate Steven Stamkos #91 against the Columbus Blue Jackets during the third period at Amalie Arena on April 26, 2022 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mark LoMogli

Steven Stamkos reached the 100-point mark for the first time in his NHL career by scoring two goals and assisting on two more, and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-1 on Tuesday night for their fourth consecutive victory.

Stamkos had an assist and a power-play goal in the first period, then got point No. 100 when he took a pass from Nikita Kucherov and beat Elvis Merzlikins from the right circle at 7:29 of the second to put Tampa Bay ahead 3-1.

Stamkos also assisted on Ondrej Palat’s third-period goal for his 101st point; his previous career high was 98 points in 2018-19. He has at least three points in each of his past five games and is the eighth NHL player to reach 100 points this season.

Kucherov had a goal and three assists, giving him nine points in his past two games, and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 20 saves for Tampa Bay, which will look to extend its third Stanley Cup championship streak to three straight when the playoffs begin next week.

Oliver Bjorkstrand scored a first-period power-play goal and Merzlikins finished with 28 saves for the Blue Jackets, who are 1-4-1 in their last six games.

Each team scored before the game was three minutes old.

Kucherov extended his goal streak to seven games when his wrist shot from the high slot sailed through traffic and past Merzlikins at 1:37. The Blue Jackets tied it at 2:59 when Bjorkstrand beat Vasilevskiy with a power-play one-timer from the top of the left circle for his 26th of the season.

Stamkos put the Lightning ahead 2-1 with about three minutes left in the first, beating Merzlikins with a power-play one-timer from the lower left circle and got his second in the second period.

Palat converted Kucherov’s passout with 5:07 remaining in the game for his 18th goal.

The Lightning played the final 2 1/2 periods with five defensemen after Erik Cernak was hit in the face by a deflected shot during a first-period power play.

NOTES

Stamkos passed Martin St. Louis on Thursday to become the Lightning’s career scoring leader. ... The Lightning have won five in a row against the Blue Jackets, including both games this season.

UP NEXT

The Blue Jackets and Lightning head for Columbus, where they play the second of their home-and-home series on Thursday.

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