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Kucherov passes Lecavalier for single season points record in win

Michael Raper | Scrum Sports Writer

Now that they have clinched their spot in the 2019 playoffs, the Tampa Bay Lightning intend to keep their foot on the peddle heading into the final month of the season. 

TAMPA BAY – With the Anaheim Ducks defeating the Montreal Canadiens last night, the Tampa Bay Lightning officially clinched a playoff spot with 14 games remaining on the schedule. Now the Lightning know they have that spot locked in, but have zero intention of letting up. Forward Nikita Kucherov etched his name into the Lightning history books tonight.

13 Straight

The title says everything that needs to be said, heading into tonight’s game the Lightning have won the last 13 regular season meetings against the Detroit Red Wings. The only other team to own that long of a winning streak against the Wings would be the Edmonton Oilers, led by the great one Wayne Gretzky.

Kucherov & McDonagh

No that’s not a new law firm coming to Tampa, that’s the two guys who gave the Bolts a 2-0 lead through one period. The game had barely begun when defenseman Ryan McDonagh slid a worm burner towards Jonathan Bernier for a 1-0 lead.

The Bolts thought Victor Hedman had one not long after, but after review it was shown the puck dinged off the post and never crossed the line. Then came the record breaker, 8:50 after McDonagh’s goal Nikita Kucherov would pass Vinny Lecavalier for the most points in a season in franchise history. Now we watch to see if Steven Stamkos can pass him on the all time list. Tampa has only lost one games when Kucherov has scored, compiling a record of 25-1-1.

  • Interesting stats for the first period, the Lightning are 27-1-2 when leading after one period. Detroit is 7-17-3 when trailing after one period. The Lightning are also 33-3-3 when scoring first. With 14 games remaining, the Lightning have only lost six games against the eastern conference all in regulation. Their record is 34-6-0 against their in conference opponents.

Chippy second period

As per the usual when these two teams play, things tend to get chippy. Normally at the heart of the chippiness from the Detroit bench is Justin Abdelkader. He and Stamkos got into a bit of a tussle at the end of the first that sent both men to the box for two minutes, but it didn’t end there. While there weren’t a lot of roughing or fighting penalties, you can see in the play these two teams don’t like each other. With four seconds left in the second period Thomas Vanek took a Niklas Kronwall shot a tipped it past Lightning goalie Louis Domingue to cut the Bolts lead in half 2-1.

  • The Lightning are 32-2-2 when leading after two periods, Detroit is 5-24-2 when trailing after two.

Kucherov’s domination continues

18 goals in his last 18 games against Detroit… Think about that for a moment, that’s a goal a game. That is unheard of along that amount of games, tonight was no different. We already spoke about his goal in the first period, but after a Stamkos goal was deemed no good due to an offside call, Kucherov made sure to get the Lightning that third goal back.

One has to wonder with 13 games remaining on the schedule, how high can Kucherov go? Kucherov is now tied for 133rd all time for points in a season with Pavel Bure, Alexander Ovechkin, Joe Mullen, Mats Naslund and John Cullen with 110. Detroit wouldn’t go quietly as Anthony Mantha scored with 56 seconds left in the third. With the net empty Domingue even tried to get in on the scoring by firing a shot towards the net, but it went wide. Tampa would go on to win their 14th consecutive regular game against the Red Wings 3-2.

Up Next

The Lightning will head north of the border to face the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday March 11th at 7:00pm.

Three Stars of the Game

3rd Star – Erik Cernak: Got an assist tonight, continues to play like he’s not a rookie.

2nd Star – Brayden Point: Assisted tonight on Kucherov’s first goal for his 45th of the season.

1st Star – Nikita Kucherov: Two goals, the first of which broke Lecavalier’s record.

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