Paquette, Bishop key Lightning's 3-1 win over Blue Jackets
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Cedric Paquette and Ben Bishop helped the Tampa Bay Lightning keep up their winning play at home.
Paquette scored his fifth goal in the last three games, Bishop made 34 saves, and the Atlantic Division-leading Lightning beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-1 on Saturday night for their franchise-best 10th straight home victory.
''I don't know if we're necessarily a better team (at home),'' Bishop said. ''Obviously we've had better results. Now we're going to be on the road quite a bit this month coming up and we've got to take what we've done at home and take it on the road.''
Tampa Bay is 21-4-1 at home, compared to 11-11-3 on the road. The Lightning play eight (all against the Western Conference) of 12 February games away from home.
Brett Connolly and Valtteri Filppula also scored for Tampa Bay, which hasn't lost at home since a 5-3 loss to Washington on Dec. 9. Bishop lost his shutout bid when Ryan Johansen scored with 3:26 remaining.
Curtis McElhinney stopped 31 shots for the Blue Jackets, who are 0-18-0 when trailing entering the third period. Columbus has been outscored 58-38 in the third period.
''They're a fast team,'' Columbus coach Todd Richards said. ''I thought we skated with them. I thought our compete was there. Gave them two goals, though. You can't give good teams goals. They're a good enough team to earn them on their own, but we had two opportunities with pucks on our stick and we turned it over and the puck's in the back of our net.''
Connolly opened the scoring with 23.5 seconds left in the first. The goal came 2 minutes after McElhinney made a pair of nice saves on Tyler Johnson.
Paquette doubled the lead midway through the third period. He had gone 29 games without a goal before his current three-game goal-scoring stretch.
''I don't think I changed anything,'' Paquette said. ''I've been doing the same thing before games and the same thing on the ice. It's been crazy, but I enjoy it.''
Filppula made it 3-0 just 1:41 later.
Brandon Dubinsky had his short-handed backhander during a 2-on-1 beat Bishop but hit the post midway through the first. Earlier in the period, Bishop stopped an in-close backhander by Cam Atkinson.
McElhinney also made a stretched-out pad save near the post on Ryan Callahan's power-play breakaway with 9 minutes to go in the second.
Tampa Bay's high-scoring line of Johnson, Ondrej Palat and Nikita Kucherov (combined 128 points) were held pointless and have just one assist over the last five games, a stretch in which the Lightning won four of five.
''We're getting strong effort from a lot of different players,'' Lightning coach Jon Copper said.
NOTES: Blue Jackets D Jordon Leopold was in the lineup for the first time since Dec. 13 and played 10 shifts at forward. ''It's an opportunity for me. That's the way I look at it. I haven't played a game in nearly two months. I was excited when I got the phone call.'' ... Columbus D Ryan Murray returned after missing 36 games with a knee injury and had an assist. ... Blue Jackets LW Matt Calvert didn't play due to illness. ... Lightning rookie Jonathan Drouin assisted on Paquette's goal and has four assists in the last three games. ... Tampa Bay is 22-0-1 when ahead after two periods.