COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The Columbus Blue Jackets extended their postseason mastery of the Tampa Bay Lightning, beating the NHL's best team 3-1 on Sunday night and moving to within a game of sweeping the playoff series.
Matt Duchene, Oliver Bjorkstrand and Cam Atkinson scored, and Sergei Bobrovsky fended off a desperate third-period charge to finish with 30 saves for the Blue Jackets, who took a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven, first-round series. Columbus will try to win a playoff series for the first time in franchise history in Game 4 at home Tuesday night.
Without their top scorer, the suspended Nikita Kucherov, and injured defenseman Victor Hedman, the Lightning, who won a league-best 62 games in the regular season, couldn't find any momentum until late in the final period, and then Bobrovsky rose to the challenge. Ondrej Palat scored for Tampa Bay.
Columbus has commanded the series since they fell behind 3-0 in the opening period of Game 1, only to rally to win that one 4-3. They beat the Lightning 5-1 in Game 2, and solidly outplayed them for all but a few minutes on Sunday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.