COLUMBUS, Ohio – Steven Stamkos scored twice – giving him 31 goals on the season – and the Tampa Bay Lightning cruised to a 4-0 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday in Nationwide Arena.
Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop was booed every time he touched the puck, but got the last word on Blue Jackets' fans with a 33-save shutout, the 16th shutout of his career.
Stamkos and Ondrej Palat combined on two short-handed goals in the third period – Stamkos made it 3-0, Palat's goal made it 4-0 – as Tampa Bay pulled away.
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Tampa Bay's Vladislav Namestnikov also scored, helping the Lightning halt a three-game winless streak (0-2-1).
The win pulled Tampa Bay into second place in the Atlantic Division, only one point back of the Boston Bruins.
The Lightning swept the three-game season series versus the Blue Jackets.
Columbus has lost three of their last four. This marked the sixth time they've been shut out this season.
At 5:29 of the second, Tampa Bay right wing Nikita Kucherov skated the puck behind the net and found Stamkos alone at the top of the right circle.
Stamkos strode into the puck and sent one of his signature slap shots whizzing past Sergei Bobrovsky's right ear for a 1-0 Lightning lead.
It's Stamkos' fifth 30-goal season in his eighth NHL campaign. He had 43 goals last season.
The Lightning made it 2-0 at 8:45 of the third when Tyler Johnson forced a turnover in the Blue Jackets' zone and fed Vladeslav Namestnikov for a wrister from the slot.
Stamkos made it 3-0 at 10:54 of the third when he and Palat got behind the Blue Jackets' point men on the power play.
Palat carried it the length of the ice, then fed Stamkos for the easy finish.
Less than four minutes later – this time with the Blue Jackets on a four-minute power play after Lightning forward Ryan Callahan was given a double-minor for high sticking – the two struck again.
This time Stamkos fed Palat for the finish to make it 4-0 with 5:21 remaining.
It was a physical game from the start, and Bishop was at the center of much of it.
An early Blue Jackets' goal was disallowed by Bishop got tangled with Blue Jackets' forward Boone Jenner, which did not please the crowd.
But a few minutes later, Bishop involved himself in a scrum behind the net – he reached over his net to give Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno a face wash – and incensed the crowd.
Later, Bishop hit the deck behind the net after Foligno clipped him as he skated past.
There's a little history between these two teams.
When the Blue Jackets and Lightning met on Dec. 26 in Tampa Bay, Jackets forward Scott Hartnell given a charging major and a game misconduct after he collided with Bishop in his net.
The game misconduct was rescinded by the league the following day.
NOTES: Blue Jackets LW Brandon Saad returned after a three-game absence with an upper-body injury. Saad told The Columbus Dispatch that he was suffering “lingering” side-effects, which suggests a concussion. … The Lightning recalled RW Mike Blunden from minor-league Syracuse and put him in the lineup in place of C Cedric Paquette. … Blue Jackets RW David Clarkson is hurt again. He has played in only 23 games this season because of a series of injuries. The club won't specify the ailment this time.