Kucherov takes NHL points lead in Lightning win over Coyotes
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Nikita Kucherov had a goal and two assists to take the NHL lead in points and Steven Stamkos recorded his 1,100th career point as the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Arizona Coyotes 6-3 on Thursday night.
Brayden Point had a goal and an assist, Mitchell Chaffee scored his first career NHL goal and Darren Raddysh and Luke Glendening added scores for Tampa Bay, which won its fifth straight home game. Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 17 shots.
Clayton Keller had a goal and an assist and defenseman Sean Durzi scored his eighth goal of the season for Arizona. Connor Ingram, who had allowed one goal in his previous two career games against Tampa Bay, allowed six goals on 37 shots.
Tampa Bay has won seven of its last eight games, while Arizona has four wins in its last 12 games.
“We’re just more sound in our own end,’’ Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said. “There’s just a lot of excitement in the room. I think guys are feeling good about themselves. There’s a lot of belief in the team.’’
Kucherov, coming off a four-point game in a victory over Philadelphia on Tuesday, increased his season point total to 83 and moved ahead of Colorado’s Nate MacKinnon (82). Kucherov also reached 50 assists in fewer than 50 games for the third time in his career, one of only nine players to accomplish the feat.
Stamkos recorded his milestone point with an assist on Kucherov’s goal and added a power play goal at 12:02 of the second period. The goal was the 206th career power-play score for Stamkos, who ranks fifth with the most power-play goals with one franchise.
“I’ve been very fortunate to play with some amazing players in my career,’’ said Stamkos, the 66th player all-time and sixth active player to have 1,100 points. “I always say it’s pretty cool to have done it all with one team.’’
Raddysh scored 24 seconds into the game, the second-fastest goal by a defenseman to start a game in franchise history. Defenseman have scored 12 goals in the last 12 games for the Lightning.
Keller tied the game at 8:40 of the first before Point put the Lightning in front for good with 33.6 seconds left in the period.
“When we mismanage our game, we pay dearly for it,’’ Arizona head coach Andre Tourigny said. “I love the effort. I love our start, but unfortunately the game went away in the second period and from there it was tough.”
Kucherov scored his 32nd of the season at 7:36. Chaffee, in his fifth career NHL game, made it 5-1 at 15:18 of the second and added his first career assist on Luke Glendeing’s goal at 7:32 of the second period.
Coyotes: At Carolina on Saturday.
Lightning: Host New Jersey on Saturday.
AP NHL: https://www.apnews.com/hub/NHL