Hat-tricks are always an impressive feat in the NHL. If you get it done in just a single period, that makes it even more impressive. Nikita Kucherov did just that on Monday night. All 3 goals came in the 2nd period, on the power play, and from the same spot. In all the Bolts scored 4 in the 2nd after Andrei Vasilevskiy’s stellar play kept the game close in the 1st. In the end, Tampa Bay picked up a much needed 2 points with a 5-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators.
Tampa Bay came out with some great energy and the Triplets had a few good chances in the offensive zone, but that line also made the 1st mistake of the game when a tripping call on Nikita Kucherov forced the Bolts to go on the PK early. Matters only got worse when Braydon Coburn got called for high-sticking less than a minute later to force the Lightning into a 5-on-3 situation. Ottawa capitalized on the advantage when Kyle Turris scored his 22nd goal of the season to give his team the early lead. Vasilevskiy had to be at the top of his game throughout the rest of the period to keep it at a 1-goal game. The Lightning goaltender ended up facing 15 shots in the period and faced another power play to close out the frame, but just allowed the early goal to keep it close as we headed to the 2nd.
That play by Vasilevskiy payed off very early in the 2nd. Brayden Point fired the puck past Mike Condon and into the back of the net to tie the game up less than 2 minutes into the period. The momentum continued for the Lightning when they got their 1st chance on the power play of the evening thanks to a hooking call on Tom Pyatt. Nikita Kucherov scored just 21 seconds into that power play to give Tampa Bay their 1st lead of the game. The Lightning got another chance on the power play around the halfway mark of the period and Kucherov cashed in again. His 25th goal of the season doubled the lead and made it 3-1. Things got physical throughout the remainder of the period. At the end of the period there were 8 penalties called in total and the last one proved costly again for Ottawa. Zack Smith called called for roughing in the final minute and that allowed Kucherov to complete his hat-trick. That goal gave the Bolts a 4-1 lead heading to the final period.
Kucherov almost added on his 4th goal of the night off of a pass from Tyler Johnson near the midway point of the period, but this time Condon was able to stop it. The Senators tried to get some momentum back on their side, but the best chances just kept going Tampa Bay’s way. Kucherov had many more chances to add on to his 3 goal night, but the Bolts’ 5th goal ended up coming off of the stick of Braydon Coburn. That’s where the scoring would end on a fantastic night for the Lightning.
The Bolts will be off on Tuesday night before completing their 4-game homestand on Wednesday night. The Lightning will be facing another conference foe in the Carolina Hurricanes. The puck is scheduled to drop at 7 pm at Amalie Arena with pregame coverage beginning at 6:30 on News Radio 970 WFLA.
1. Ottawa - PPG - Turris - (Karlsson, Hoffman) - 6:26
1. Tampa Bay - Point - (Unassisted) - 1:39
2. Tampa Bay - PPG - Kucherov - (Hedman, Drouin) - 5:37
3. Tampa Bay - PPG - Kucherov - (Drouin, Johnson) - 10:26
4. Tampa Bay - PPG- Kucherov - (Hedman, Drouin) - 19:46
1. Tampa Bay - Coburn - (Kucherov, Johnson) - 10:57
1. Tampa Bay - Kucherov - (Tripping) - 4:39
2. Tampa Bay - Coburn - (High Sticking) - 5:26
3. Tampa Bay - Erne - (Boarding) - 18:12
1. Tampa Bay - Coburn - (Fighting) - 5:16
2. Ottawa - Borowiecki - (Fighting) - 5:16
3. Ottawa - Pyatt - (Hooking) - 5:16
4. Ottawa - Phaneuf - (Tripping) - 8:48
5. Tampa Bay - Sustr - (Slashing) - 13:58
6. Ottawa - Smith - (Unsportsmanlike Conduct) - 15:55
7. Tampa Bay - Coburn - (Unsportsmanlike Conduct) - 15:55
8. Ottawa - Smith - (Roughing) - 19:07
1. Tampa Bay - Paquette - (Roughing) - 12:38
2. Tampa Bay - Paquette - (Roughing) - 12:38
3. Tampa Bay - Paquette - (Fighting) - 12:38
4. Ottawa - Wideman - (Unsportsmanlike Conduct) - 12:38
5. Ottawa - Wideman - (Fighting) - 12:38
6. Tampa Bay - Dumont - (Unsportsmanlike Conduct) - 12:38
7. Ottawa - Blunden - (Roughing) - 12:38
8. Ottawa - Blunden - (Roughing) - 12:38
9. Tampa Bay - Paquette - (Game Misconduct) - 12:38
10. Tampa Bay - Paquette - (Tripping) -12:38
11. Ottawa - Phaneuf- (Game Misconduct) 18:22
SHOTS ON GOAL
Tampa Bay - 33Ottawa - 40