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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky might be getting a little weary after starting all but two of Columbus' first 21 games. His teammates made sure he didn't have to do a lot of heavy lifting Tuesday night.
Bobrovsky stopped 26 shots and the Blue Jackets played brilliant defense in smothering the Tampa Bay Lightning for a 5-1 victory.
Josh Anderson scored a goal and assisted on two others, and Scott Hartnell had a goal and an assist for the Blue Jackets (12-5-4), who beat Tampa Bay (13-10-1) for the second time in five days. William Karlsson, Alexander Wennberg and Sam Gagner also scored.
Columbus kept the puck in Tampa Bay's end and tested backup goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy, who stopped 33 shots as his team lost its third straight. Valtteri Filppula scored for the Lightning with less than 3 minutes left to spoil Bobrovsky's shutout bid.
Bobrovsky, who struggled with groin injuries last season, is healthy and showing no signs of wear. He said it helps when the skaters play such tight defense in front of him.
"The guys were unbelievable," he said. "They make huge blocked shots, and perfect timing when I can't see. We help each other. It's fun to be here."
The Blue Jackets are 8-1-1 in their last 10 home games.
Karlsson started it for Columbus , taking a pass from Anderson on a 3-on-1 rush and burying a shot from the left circle 5:30 into the first period. It was his fourth goal of the season, and Ryan Murray also picked up an assist.
After a steal by the Blue Jackets, Seth Jones' pinpoint pass set up a goal by Wennberg at 3:40 of the second period. He slammed it past a knot of players in front, and Vasilevskiy's pads.
"Every line was stepping up and Bob made some great saves, and it was just a good 60 minutes," Wennberg said.
The Lightning put the puck in the net about 2 minutes later, but after a replay review the goal was waved off because officials ruled Ondrej Palat interfered with Bobrovsky by pushing a Columbus player into him.
Anderson scored his seventh goal of the season 16 minutes into the second after Hartnell put a pass on his stick from behind the net. Hartnell scored his fifth on a rush after taking a slick pass from Anderson 1:57 into the third.
Gagner capped it with his eighth goal when he skated around the net and pushed the puck past Vasilevskiy 12:38 into the third.
Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said his team isn't pressuring the puck enough.
"It all comes down to defending," he said. "Right now we're not defending with the passion we need to. We've got to start in our own end."
NOTES: Vasilevskiy, the Lightning's backup goalie, lost for the first time in his last five starts. ... Before the game, a moment of silence was observed for the victims of Monday's attack on the Ohio State University campus, along with recognition of Ohio State police officer Alan Horujko, who ended the attack by killing the suspect. ... D Dalton Prout and D Scott Harrington were scratched by Columbus. D Anton Stralman and forward Ryan Callahan were scratched for Tampa Bay. ... Lightning assistant coach Todd Richards, the Columbus head coach from 2012-15, returned to Nationwide Arena for the first time since he was fired seven games into the 2015 season. He is the winningest coach in franchise history (127-112-21) and the first to win a playoff game in Columbus (2014). ... The Blue Jackets traded defenseman Cody Goloubef to the Colorado Avalanche for defenseman Ryan Stanton, who was assigned to the Cleveland Monsters of the AHL.
Lightning: Travel to St. Louis to play the Blues on Thursday night.
Blue Jackets: Play the Avalanche in Colorado on Thursday.
Follow Mitch Stacy at http://twitter.com/mitchstacy