What's Buzzing:
42-32-7
2 -
Team 1 2 3
CLS 0 1 1
TB 0 3 0
3
45-27-9

Gudlevskis wins NHL debut as TB tops Columbus 3-2

AP - Sports
Gudlevskis wins NHL debut as TB tops Columbus 3-2
.

View gallery

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- The Tampa Bay Lightning are having success even without their starting goalie.

Kristers Gudlevskis made 36 saves to win his NHL debut, Eric Brewer scored two goals, and the Lightning beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 on Friday night.

Ondrej Palat also scored for the Lightning, who took a one-point lead over Montreal for second place in the Atlantic Division. A runner-up finish would give Tampa Bay home-ice advantage in its first-round playoff series with the Canadiens.

''We'd love to have home-ice,'' Brewer said. ''Clearly it's something that you never want to use, but you'd love to have. The other thing is, you just want to play well going into the playoffs.''

Boone Jenner and David Savard had goals for Columbus. The playoff-bound Blue Jackets are tied with Philadelphia - which has one game at hand - for third place in the Metropolitan Division.

''We just have to regroup,'' Blue Jackets right wing Corey Troop said. ''We just need to take care of business on our end.''

The Blue Jackets are also tied with Detroit, which will be one of the two Eastern Conference wild-card teams.

Gudlevskis had played in the ECHL and AHL, and for Lativa in the Sochi Olympics this season. Anders Lindback started in place of the injured Ben Bishop in the Lightning's 4-2 win Thursday night over Philadelphia.

''It's my biggest dream come true,'' Gudlevskis said.

Bishop, 37-14-7 this season, might not be ready for the start of the playoffs due to an upper-body injury. Bishop left early in the first period of Tuesday's game against Toronto with what appeared to be a left elbow injury.

''If something were to happen and Gudie had to go in, I did not want his first game to be a playoff game,'' Lightning coach Jon Cooper said.

After Jenner scored a power-play goal at 13:46 of the second, Brewer gave Tampa Bay a 2-1 lead when he beat backup goalie Curtis McElhinney 1:08 later.

The Lightning took a 3-1 advantage on Brewer's second of the game and fourth this season with 1:54 left in the second. All four of the defenseman's goals have been scored in the last 12 games.

Savard pulled Columbus within 3-2 with 3:23 to go in the third.

Palat put the Lightning up 1-0 with a power-play goal at 3:55 of the second. The rookie has four goals and eight points during a six-game point streak.

The Blue Jackets took three penalties in the opening 4:42 of the second.

''That's something that you can't do going forward,'' Columbus coach Todd Richards said. ''I looked down the bench and I think I used four or five forwards, six forwards, for the first five, six minutes of the second period.''

NOTES: Palat left in the third after taking a hard check. ... Tampa Bay C Valtteri Filppula (lower-body injury) and RW Teddy Purcell (flu) were late scratches. D Victor Hedman left after three shifts in the first period because of a lower-body injury. ... Blue Jackets RW Nathan Horton had surgery Friday for an abdominal injury and is expected to be out for six weeks. ... Tampa Bay D Sami Salo (upper-body injury) missed his second consecutive game. ... Columbus reassigned D Tim Erixon to Springfield of the AHL. ... The Lightning recalled C Cedric Paquette from Syracuse of the AHL. He had an assist in his first NHL game. ... Columbus C Ryan Johansen had an assist, giving him a five-game point streak (four assists, six points).

View Comments (1)
  • Islanders look to bounce back in Game 3 against Lightning

    Islanders look to bounce back in Game 3 against Lightning

    The New York Islanders know there are several areas they need to improve to avoid falling behind in their second-round series against Tampa Bay. Returning home after the loss in the last game evened the best-of-seven series at one game apiece, the … More »

    AP - Sports - 3 hours ago
  • Seattle city council rejects street closing plan for proposed arena

    Seattle city council rejects street closing plan for proposed arena

    Seattle's city council on Monday narrowly rejected a proposal that would pave the way for a new sports arena, dimming the hopes for the NBA to return to the city after the beloved SuperSonics moved away in 2008. The council voted 4-5 against a plan … More »

    Reuters - 3 hours ago
  • D Pietrangelo leading Blues' charge

    D Pietrangelo leading Blues' charge

    Alex Pietrangelo is used to playing a lot - especially this time of year. Pietrangelo is fourth overall in the playoffs averaging 30 minutes, 34 seconds, including more than 35 minutes in the Blues' overtime victory in Game 2 in Dallas on Sunday. … More »

    AP - Sports - 4 hours ago
  • Murray stops 47, Pens go up 2-1 on Caps

    Murray stops 47, Pens go up 2-1 on Caps

    Outhit, outshot and largely outplayed, Pittsburgh grabbed control of its Eastern Conference semifinal against Washington anyway. Matt Murray made 47 stops and the Penguins did just enough counterpunching to edge the Capitals 3-2 on Monday night for … More »

    AP - Sports - 6 hours ago
  • Murray helps Penguins to 2-1 win over Capitals; Letang could face suspension

    Murray helps Penguins to 2-1 win over Capitals; Letang could face suspension

    The post-game scene in the Pittsburgh Penguins dressing room perfectly encapsulated their Game 3 victory. Matt Murray, the 21-year-old star of the 3-2 Monday night win, stood waiting for control of his dressing room stall as reporters peppered Kris … More »

    The Canadian Press - 6 hours ago