Korpisalo makes 31 saves, Blue Jackets top Lightning 3-1
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Joonas Korpisalo made quite an impression in his NHL return.
Korpisalo made 31 saves in his first game of the season, Nick Foligno had a go-ahead power-play goal in the third period and the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-1 on Friday night.
“It’s been a long time since I played here,” said the 22-year-old Korpisalo, who went 16-11-4 in 31 games with Columbus last season. “I just tried to go out there and enjoy it, have fun.”
Columbus, 2-3 since ending a 16-game winning streak, also got goals from Josh Anderson and Boone Jenner. Korpisalo was recalled recently from Lake Erie of the AHL and played in place of Sergei Bobrovsky, who also missed Tuesday’s game at Carolina due to illness.
Jonathan Drouin scored for the Lightning, who have lost five of six. Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 28 shots.
“I liked a lot of our game,” Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. “It came down to special teams.”
Tampa Bay retired Martin St. Louis’ No. 26 in a pregame ceremony. St. Louis was a key member of the Lightning’s 2004 Stanley Cup championship team that was coached by current Columbus coach John Tortorella.
“It was just amazing to see and be able to celebrate a player that we all admired that we grew up watching or played against,” Foligno said. “I thought, for one, it was an amazing thing to experience and a pretty proud moment for him and his family.”
Korpisalo stopped Drouin’s shot from the low slot midway through the third after Foligno put the Blue Jackets up 2-1 with a rebound goal 4:29 into the period. Columbus’ top-ranked power-play unit went 1 for 4.
Jenner added a short-handed empty-netter.
The Lightning outshot Columbus 19-6 during the first period and got their lone goal when Drouin scored from in-close off a nifty backhand pass through the slot by Valtteri Filppula.
“The first period, I think was good for me,” Korpisalo said. “It kind of helped me get in the game.”
Drouin has 10 goals and 21 points in 19 games since the start of December.
Columbus entered outscoring its opponents 42-21 in the first period.
Anderson tied it at 1 late in the second. He has three goals and five points in three career games — all this season — against the Lightning.
NOTES: The Lightning’s NHL second-best power play went 0 for 3. ... Tampa Bay RW Ryan Callahan lingering issues following offseason hip surgery have limited him to 18 games. Callahan, who missed the first eight games this season, sat out his third straight game Friday night after a second setback. ... Columbus LW Matt Calvert returned after missing one game because of illness. ... The Blue Jackets have allowed the first goal just 13 times in 41 games.
Blue Jackets: Complete a three-game trip Saturday night at Florida.
Lightning: Play at Los Angeles on Monday night to start a six-game road trip.