Stamkos, Lightning visit Blue Jackets

The Tampa Bay Lightning will try to post consecutive wins for the first time in three weeks when they visit the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight at Nationwide Arena.

The Lightning last won two in a row during a home-and-home sweep of the Florida Panthers on Nov. 25-26. Tampa Bay has just two wins in nine games since, but the Bolts were able to record an overtime victory Thursday against visiting Calgary.

Steven Stamkos scored the game-winner 30 seconds into overtime, lifting the Lightning to a 5-4 win over the Flames.

Tampa Bay wasted a two-goal lead in the third period, but tic-tac-toe passing between the trio of Steve Downie, Eric Brewer and Stamkos early in the extra session resulted in the latter re-directing Brewer's cross-ice feed into the back of the net.

"When you're struggling to get wins, you take them any way you can get them," said Stamkos, whose club had lost seven of eight coming in. "Hopefully this is the start of something good."

Stamkos has three goals and five points over his last two games and is tied for the NHL lead with 19 goals on the season.

Tom Pyatt, Ryan Malone and Nate Thompson each scored in the second period to give the Lightning a 4-2 lead, only to have Rene Bourque and Olli Jokinen score in the third period to salvage a point for Calgary. Mathieu Garon earned the win for Tampa with a 23-save effort.

Tonight's tilt marks the start of a three-game road trip for the Lightning, who are just 5-11-2 as the visiting team this season.

Columbus, which is last in the NHL with 22 points, has lost three of its last four games to post a 1-2-1 record during a five-game homestand that ends tonight. Overall, the Blue Jackets are 6-9-2 as the host this season.

The Blue Jackets last played on Thursday, when they were dealt a 2-1 regulation loss by the Los Angeles Kings. Dustin Brown scored the go-ahead goal near the midway mark of the third period to lift LA to the victory.

Jeff Carter lit the lamp for a fourth consecutive contest for the Blue Jackets, while Curtis Sanford turned aside 39-of-41 shots in defeat.

Carter has seven goals in 20 games in his first season with the Blue Jackets. The former Philadelphia Flyer has scored 14 times in 24 career games against the Lightning.

Blue Jackets forward Derek Dorsett could play tonight after sitting out the last two games with a lower body injury.

Tampa Bay has won two of three and three of its last five meetings with the Blue Jackets. Columbus has won the last two matchups on home ice and is 3-1 with a tie in the five all-time encounters at Nationwide Arena.