A night of firsts as the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-1 behind a career high five-point night by Nikita Kucherov including a pair of goals and three assists. Kucherov’s multi-point night along with a multi-point night for captain Steven Stamkos marks the first time in franchise history that a set of teammates posted simultaneous multi-point streaks in five straight contests.
Coming off being named the NHL’s top star for last week, Kucherov wasted little time getting the Bolts on the board against Columbus as he notched the first two goals for Tampa Bay in less than three minutes apart from each other.The pair of goals marks seven goals scored in the winger’s last five games for Tampa Bay.
Things didn’t slow down in the second period although the Blue Jackets dominated in the shots on goal category for the entire contest.Steven Stamkos took advantage of a two-man advantage late in the second period with a one-timer blast into the net for Tampa Bay’s first power play goal of the night making it 3-0 Tampa Bay heading into the final frame.
Brayden Point extended the Lightning’s lead with a pair of goals early in the third period, including his first score just twelve seconds into the period. Kucherov assisted on both of Point’s goals putting him at 70 assists on the season and currently holding at 99 points through 60 games this season.The 70 assists by Kucherov are a new franchise record for a season passing Martin St. Louis (2010-2011) and Brad Richards (2005-2006) who each held the record with 68 in a season.It was the second time this season that Kucherov totaled five points in a single game and the thirteenth time in franchise history it has happened.
Andrei Vasilevskiy was just as impressive in net for the Tampa Bay Lightning almost closing with another shutout stopping 39 of 40 shots by Columbus.The Tampa Bay goaltender gave up a late goal in the third period to ruin his chance at a third straight shutout, but didn’t allow a goal in 183:53 minutes of regulation play until Lukas Sedlak scored his fourth goal of the season.
Things don’t slow down for the red hot Bolts as they take their six game winning streak into Philadelphia tomorrow night as they take on the Flyers.You can catch all the action beginning at 6:30pm on NewsRadio 970 WFLA.
Photo Courtesy Of Getty Images