Letestu's late PP goal lifts Blue Jackets, 3-2

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 13, 2014 at 10:14 pm •  Published: January 13, 2014
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Almost none of the 14,070 fans on hand knew that Mark Letestu scored the game-winning goal for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

That was OK with him. He was just happy his team came away with two points.

Letestu redirected Jack Johnson's shot from the point with 2:38 left, lifting the Blue Jackets past the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 on Monday night.

The goal was initially credited to James Wisniewski immediately after the game. Johnson, celebrating his 27th birthday, thought he had the winner until the goal was changed long after the teams had left the ice.

Letestu said the crowd, that was so exuberant during the Blue Jackets' rally in the second half of last season, had a hand in carrying the club.

"It was especially loud coming down the stretch," said Letestu, who has four goals in five games after netting only one before then. "When we got that last power play, (the fans) could sense it, too, that we were close. Maybe they willed us on to score that one.

"It was rockin' out there."

It was the Blue Jackets' season-high fourth win in a row.

There were plenty of others in the spotlight before Letestu's winner. Nathan Horton scored his 200th NHL goal, also during a third-period power play, and Ryan Johansen scored for Columbus, which is 5-1 in the new year. Sergei Bobrovsky had 26 saves.

"We showed some character coming back," said Horton, a free-agent signing from Boston last summer who missed the first 40 games for his new team while recovering from shoulder surgery. "That's what we needed when we needed it most."

Tampa Bay had been 17-1 when leading after two periods.

The Blue Jackets had a man advantage for the sixth time after Tyler Johnson was called for hooking with 3:28 remaining.

Just 50 seconds later, Wisniewski fed Johnson for a hard shot that Letestu deflected past Anders Lindback through heavy traffic in front.

"They found a lane there," said Lindback, who had 25 saves.