TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Victor Hedman scored 10 seconds into overtime to give the Tampa Bay Lightning a 4-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday night.
Brayden Point finished with three assists for Tampa Bay. Ondrej Palat had a goal and two assists. Mathieu Joseph and Alex Barre-Boulet also scored.
Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 19 shots for his league-leading 28th victory of the season.
The Lightning moved within a point of idle Florida for second place in the Central Division. Tampa Bay has played one less game than the Panthers.
“I like the way the guys are working,” Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said. “We just want to finish strong. We just want to keep doing the right things here and see what happens.”
Eric Robinson scored a pair of goals and Mikhail Grigorenko added another score for Columbus. The Blue Jackets’ winless stretch reached nine games (0-7-2).
“It’s good to be doing the right things and make sure you’re playing the right way,” Robinson said. “But it’s hard when you’re not getting the result to keep sticking with it. I thought we’ve done a good job the past few games of sticking with it during tough times. I think if we keep going with it we’ll see a result soon.”
Joonas Korpisalo allowed three goals on 26 shots before leaving in the third period due to injury. Elvis Merzlikins stopped seven of the eight shots he faced in relief.
Hedman, who added an assist earlier in the game, took a pass from Point in the slot and wristed home a shot past Merzlikins for his second overtime goal in a week.
“I felt like I had a lot of good looks in the game and wasn’t able to convert,” Hedman said. “Then it was kind of a mess off the (overtime) faceoff and we were able to retrieve the puck. They have three guys low, Pointer makes a good play, so I had time and space to pick a corner. It’s a good feeling.”
Palat opened the scoring at 11:50, finishing off a pass by Point from below the goal line for his 14th of the season.
RINGS THE THING
The Lightning players and staff received their 2020 Stanley Cup championship rings in a private ceremony held outside at the house of team owners Jeff and Penny Vinik on Friday. The ring is made of 14-karat white gold and 557 custom cut diamonds and 81 custom cut blue sapphires for a total weight of 25 carats, the largest ring in total weight created by Jostens.
“With the season still going on, that was a nice little break for us to look back at what we accomplished,” defenseman Victor Hedman said. “To get that ring presented to us by our owner, the generosity is out of this world. We’re proud of what we did and that’s another sign of what we accomplished and that’s going to stay with us forever.”
KEEPING THINGS LOOSE
With Columbus officially eliminated from playoff contention, ending a franchise-best four consecutive seasons with a playoff berth, and the Blue Jackets riding an eight-game winless streak entering Sunday, head coach John Tortorella wants to take away some of the tension and frustration that has been building up in the locker room.
“I want the players to try to enjoy some of the time that is left here, so we are trying to act accordingly here,” Tortorella said. “My shift in mind-set has gone that way. They don’t deserve to be grinded. As much as the year that we’ve had has been a very bad year, I am not going to double it up and grind them through this here.”
Columbus: Host Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday.
Tampa Bay: At Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday.