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Kucherov, Lightning Find Fortune in Vegas with Key Win

The Bolts win big in Vegas

Brayden Point scored twice in the third period, and Nikita Kucherov had a goal and three assists as the Tampa Bay Lightning found Lady Luck in their favor in a 5-3 win over the Vegas Golden Knights. The four-point game was the seventh time this season Kucherov has scored four or more points.

The Bolts shook off a rough start when Jonathan Marchessault opened the scoring for Vegas only 74 seconds into the game. Tampa Bay picked up their game at that point and took control of the first period. Anthony Cirelli scored on a nice double-pass shorthanded goal with Brandon Hagel at the seven-minute mark.

Anthony Duclair would then score halfway through the period on a feed from Kucherov.

“That was tough to go down early,” Lightning Coach Jon Cooper said. “To come out of that period up 2-1 was big for us. The guys turned it around.”

“After a tough start, the boys rallied!”

Duclair has now scored a point in each of his first four games with the Lightning since being acquired from the San Jose Sharks at the trade deadline.

“He’s a good player. He’s a good add for us, he and (Matt) Dumba,” Cooper commented on Duclair. “I’m ecstatic we have these guys. They’ve added to our depth, given us a little moxie.”

“He’s deserved those points. He’s played well for us.”

The Lightning continued to play with an aggressive, patient pace going into the second period. Despite the strong effort, Vegas would tie the game when Brett Howden scored late.

Third Period Makes the Difference

The third period started with Vegas playing strong in the offensive zone, pelting Bolts netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy on several rushes. Vasilevskiy was resilient, stopping 11 of 12 shots during the period. The Lightning goalie would stop 24 of 27 overall.

Point would give the Bolts a one-goal lead five minutes into the third with a magical pass from Kucherov. The Russian continues to electrify the ice with clever plays and elite puck handling this season. Tonight was no different with a backhanded gem off the boards to Point on the power play.

Ben Hutton would answer for Vegas a few minutes later to tie the game on a 2-on-1 breakaway assist from Keegan Kolesar. If there was a weak spot in Tampa Bay’s evening, it was giving up two outnumbered situations that led to two Vegas goals.


Undaunted however, Point would score the game winning goal at the 12:14 mark when a bit of luck went Tampa Bay’s way. A potential icing call was waved off when Point’s quick effort out-skated with Golden Knight defense to make it to the puck first. The play seemed to catch Vegas goalie Adin Hill flat-footed as Point found the back of the net on the ensuing wrist shot.

Kucherov would seal the game with an empty net goal on an amazing display of speed to pick up hos fourth point of the night.

Kucherov Continues to Make Case For Hart Trophy

Nikita Kucherov’s spectacular season continued to dazzle tonight with yet another impressive display of his talent. The Bolts forward has scored 24 points in his last 11 games. His 41st goal of the season matched his previous season high total with 14 games remaining.

Kucherov overtook Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon for the top spot in the points standings with 118.

“I didn’t realize he (Kucherov) had four points tonight,” Cooper slyly quipped. “I guess he’s been doing that almost every night.”

The Bolts are now on a four-game winning streak, with Vasilevskiy in net all four games. He has posted a 2.26 GAA and .931 save percentage while posting a shutout during the streak.

Three Stars of the Game

Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay One goal, three assists for four points. The race with MacKinnon is going to come down to the wire.

Brayden Point, Tampa Bay Two goals with the game winner out-hustling Vegas to nullify the potential icing call.

Anthony Duclair, Tampa Bay One goal, and it was an important one to complete the momentum swing in the first period.

Up Next

The Lightning (37-25-6) start a three-game west coast stretch with a match up against the San Jose Sharks (16-45-7). Puck drop is at 10:30pm.

Follow us for more Lightning coverage at The Scrum Sports.

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