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4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET23:00 GMT7:00 4:00 PM MST6:00 PM EST3:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ET20:00 BRT, April 8, 2021
Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio  Attendance: 4,143

Zac Dalpe, Blue Jackets will try to score again vs. Lightning

Tampa Bay Lightning at Columbus Blue Jackets

  1. Columbus has won three of its last four games against Tampa Bay after the Lightning won the previous eight meetings. Dating back to 2014-15, all seven wins by the Blue Jackets in this series have come by multiple goals.
  2. Tampa Bay has lost five of its last seven games in regulation after losing just six games in regulation over its first 32 this season. The last time the Lightning had six regulation losses in an eight-game span was November 25 to December 10, 2016.
  3. After scoring four total goals during their three-game losing streak, the Blue Jackets scored four goals in Tuesday's win over Tampa Bay. Columbus had five power-play opportunities for the first time since March 2 vs. Detroit and won 33 faceoffs for the second time all season (January 14 at Nashville, 34).
  4. Pat Maroon had two assists Tuesday for only the second time in two seasons with the Lightning (January 9, 2020 vs. Arizona). Maroon has nine points in his last 12 games after totaling eight in his first 27 games this season.
  5. Max Domi had a goal and an assist in Tuesday's win over Tampa Bay. This season, Domi has five points in five games against the Lightning, compared to 11 points in 36 games against all other teams.
  6. Tampa Bay ranks fourth in the NHL in even-strength goal differential (+27) while Columbus is 29th (-24), but the Blue Jackets have a 14-9 edge in even-strength goals in the teams' five meetings this season.

Seeking a boost to perhaps get their season turned around Tuesday, the Columbus Blue Jackets found it in fourth-liner Zac Dalpe.

The center scored for the first time in 4 1/2 years, Joonas Korpisalo turned aside 36 shots, and the Blue Jackets improved to 3-1-1 against the Tampa Bay Lightning with a 4-2 win to open their four-game homestand.

On Thursday night, the Central Division teams will meet in Columbus for the final time this season. The foes have two more games scheduled in Tampa.

Without a goal since Oct. 20, 2016, Dalpe shoveled in a sharp pass from Max Domi to put Columbus on the board. Defenseman Seth Jones started the play deep in the defensive zone with a long pass to Domi, located near the Lightning bench.

"I knew there were a lot of days between my last goal and now," said Dalpe, who tallied for the first time in 1,629 days. "Definitely joy and some relief. I still want to prove to people and myself that I can play at this level. Getting the goal is a cherry on top."

The former Ohio State Buckeye was asked if he and his teammates turned up their game against the defending Stanley Cup champions.

"Maybe," Dalpe said. "I think at this point in the year we're just out to prove that we can be a better hockey team and be more consistent. Obviously, it's no secret about the Lightning and how good and skilled they are, so maybe that adds a little pep in your step, so to speak."

Korpisalo blanked the them deep into the third period before Ross Colton and Luke Schenn scored goals.

"Korpy was outstanding, giving us a chance," Columbus coach John Tortorella said. "Dalps is another guy that's easy to pull for - taxi squad, not on the taxi squad, all that. It's been a long year for him."

Gritty left winger Boone Jenner - one of Tortorella's heart-and-soul guys - left after being struck in the wrist by a shot from teammate Patrik Laine in the third period.

"The situation that we're in here, that's the guy you want leading the charge," Tortorella said. "I'm not so sure we're going to get good news there."

Meanwhile, the Lightning have suffered a power-play outage -- surprising given the elite talent of Victor Hedman, Steven Stamkos and Brayden Point anchoring the top unit.

They went 0-for-4 in the loss, extending their man-advantage futility to 1-for-18 in the past seven contests.

Lately, the team has struggled to score at all, going seven periods during one stretch and finding the net just once.

"I think when the scoring dries up, you're looking for answers," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "The big thing is, when that is happening you can't change your game. That's a hard part for any athlete.

"We had a breakaway, we had a two-on-one, we had some good chances. Then all of a sudden we have one breakdown (on Dalpe's goal) and it ends up in the net. Now you're chasing it."

Holding third in the division, the Lightning are only two points behind first-place Florida but are 2-5-0 in their past seven matches.

Added Stamkos, goal-less in seven straight: "It just feels like no matter what we're doing, we're just not getting that reward or that bounce."

--Field Level Media

Updated April 7, 2021

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