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Kucherov and Bolts extend streaks against Flyers

Wayne Masut | Senior Staff Photographer

The Tampa Bay Lightning entered tonight’s game winners of 16 out of their last 19 games. Their record over that same span is 16-2-1. While their winning streak was halted at eight games, they have secured points in their last 12 straight games.  Since the calendar changed to December the Philadelphia Flyers have only won five games, 3-3 in their last six. 

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have been firing on all cylinders all season long. Since the return of forward Ondrej Palat, the Lightning have yet to lose a game in regulation. Over the last ten games Lightning captain Steven Stamkos has 10 goals in his last seven games. While Brayden Point has cooled off recently Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov have been as hot as they have ever been. In his last game against the Edmonton Oilers, Kucherov notched his five career five point game (1g-4a).

Point still contributing

While Point hasn’t lit the lamp since December 6th against the Boston Bruins, he is still contributing night in and night out. Since the 6th he has only had one game where he was held off the score sheet (December 13th vs Toronto Maple Leafs). He has had three games where he notched two assists, and another three where he notched one. It’s nice to see while the Lightning’s young winger has cooled off other players have heated up.

Lightning Captain going strong… again

With his second goal of the night against Edmonton before the Christmas break, Stamkos has once again notched 20 goals in a season. Actually the only time the Lightning captain hasn’t notched at least 20 goals was in 2016-17 when he only played in 17 games. During that injury shortened season he was still able to light the lamp nine times. Since December 8th vs the Colorado Avalanche Stamkos has tallied 10 goals, three seven of those 10 coming in three games. By the end of the night he would notch two more, making it 14 in December so far. That’s the most in his career in one month.

Kucherov lights the lamp

While Michael Raffl got the Flyers on the board just past the midway point of the first period, Kucherov would continue his hot play. While Brayden Point would get a helper along with Tyler Johnson on Kucherov’s goal, he would end his goal-less streak. With “48 seconds” left in the first period, while on the power play Point would give the Bolts a 2–1 lead. The fact that both Stamkos and Kucherov have been thriving since being split up speaks volumes for the talent on this roster. Kucherov is now on a nine game point streak.

Giroux dazzles, but Lightning strike

That has to be one of the filthiest goals of recent memory, however the tie game wouldn’t last very long. Around eight minutes after Flyers captain Claude Giroux scored and amazing 1 on 4 goal, yes you read that right it was him against four Lightning players. Shortly after Stamkos would notch his 21st goal of the season, then he would get number twenty two on the power play. So far at this point in the game Kucherov has four points, in his last five periods he has nine points. To say Kucherov won’t hit 100 points again this season would be foolish. Tyler Johnson seeing his teammates strike wanted in on the action. Deep in the zone Stamkos from his normal spot would dish off a pass to Kucherov, who put the puck on Michal Neuvirth. With Johnson set up in front, the shot would deflect off the Washington state native and give the Bolts a 5-2 lead with 10 seconds left.

Philly comes out firing…. again

It didn’t take too long for Philly to respond to the second period. A minute thirty three into the third, James Van Riemsdyk would put one past Lightning netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy to cut the Bolts lead 5-3. Dale Weise would end up getting credit for the goal. Nearly three minues later Robert Hagg would take advantage of the traffic in front of Vasilevskiy and get the Flyers to within one. Four minutes later Ivan Provorov would notch the tying goal from the slot. After the goal Vasilevskiy clearly wasn’t happy that one got past him. The last time these two teams played Philly scored four third period goals to force overtime before Anthony Cerelli scored the game winner during 3 on 3. The game would go to OT just like the first game, but while Cirelli didn’t score the winner he had a helper on it. With the Flyers winning the face off to start OT, Giroux would lose the puck in the neutral zone to Cirelli, who then dropped the pass to Alex Killorn. Without hesitation Killorn shot it on Neuvirth and got it past the Flyers goalie 18 seconds into OT.

Next Up

They play the Montreal Canadiens at 7pm on 12/29 before heading on a three game California road trip.

Three Stars of the Game

1st Star: Steven Stamkos – 2 goals 2 assists, he just keeps going and going..

2nd Star: Nikita Kucherov – 1 goal 3 assists, as of the end of the game he has 61 points and the NHL league lead.

3rd Star: Alex Killorn – Got the game winner in OT

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