Streak­ing Light­ning sweep past fal­ter­ing Devils

Gulf Times Sport - - SPORT -

Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov and Bray­den Point con­tin­ued their siz­zling play as the Light­ning cruised to another lop­sided win over New Jersey, beat­ing the Devils 5-1 in Ne­wark, N.J., on Mon­day.

Kucherov recorded a goal and three as­sists to ex­tend his point streak to 10 games, and Point had a goal and two as­sists for the Light­ning, who won their third straight over­all and swept the three-game sea­son se­ries against the Devils.

In their three wins over New Jersey, the Light­ning outscored the last-place Metropoli­tan Divi­sion team 18-6.

Kucherov moved out of a third­place tie with Toronto’s Mitchell Marner in the scor­ing race. His four points gave him 42, mov­ing him closer to Colorado Avalanche team­mates Mikko Ran­ta­nen (45) and Nathan MacKin­non (43).

The high-scor­ing Rus­sian has 24 points in the 10-game streak – five goals and 19 as­sists. Point had a whop­ping 11 points in the three wins over New Jersey.

Tampa Bay’s Tyler John­son, Yanni Gourde and Steven Stamkos also scored goals. Louis Domingue won for the 11th time and started his 11th straight con­test - the long­est goalie-start streak in the NHL this sea­son -and posted 26 saves.

De­fense­man Egor Yakovlev scored his first NHL goal for the Devils, who have lost six straight. Keith Kinkaid stopped 16 shots in two pe­ri­ods in goal, and Cory Sch­nei­der made five saves in re­lief dur­ing the third pe­riod.

Kucherov zipped in his 12th goal at 13:31 of the first pe­riod. Us­ing New Jersey de­fense­man Sami Vata­nen as a screen, the right winger fired a shot from near the left cir­cle that beat Kinkaid on the glove side for a 1-0 lead.

On the power play as the pe­riod was wind­ing down, Kucherov fed a pass from the right cir­cle to Point, who lifted a shot from the slot with 26 sec­onds left in the pe­riod for his 20th goal – nine of them on the man ad­van­tage.

John­son de­flected in a long shot by McDon­agh for his 11th goal at 8:20 of the sec­ond pe­riod for a 3-0 lead. Shortly af­ter Yakovlev’s goal at 11:26, Gourde chipped in a clever back­hand pass from Stamkos for his 10th marker and a 4-1 lead.

Stamkos scored his ninth goal of the sea­son on the power play 20 sec­onds into the third pe­riod on Kucherov’s third as­sist, and the Light­ning kept the Devils score­less down the stretch en route for the win.

RINNE, PREDA­TORS HOLD OFF SABRES

Pekka Rinne made 21 saves, in­clud­ing five in the fi­nal 90 sec­onds, to lead the Nashville Preda­tors to a 2-1 vic­tory over the vis­it­ing Buf­falo Sabres on Mon­day night.

Kevin Fiala and Ryan El­lis scored goals for the Preda­tors, who were play­ing their 13th game over a 24day span and were with­out the ser­vices of Filip Fors­berg (bro­ken hand), P.K. Sub­ban (up­per body), Vik­tor Arvids­son (bro­ken thumb) and Kyle Tur­ris (undis­closed).

Rinne was play­ing in his 10th con­sec­u­tive game and start­ing his fifth straight con­test. It is Rinne’s long­est streak since play­ing in 27 games in a row from Feb. 5 to April 9, 2015.

Sam Rein­hart scored his sev­enth goal of the sea­son for Buf­falo, which took its third straight loss af­ter win­ning 10 games in a row. Carter Hut­ton had 22 saves for the Sabres.

(Getty Images/AFP)

Tampa Bay Light­ning’s Nikita Kucherov (left) skates in on Da­mon Sev­er­son of the New Jersey Devils dur­ing the first pe­riod at the Pru­den­tial Cen­ter in Ne­wark, New Jersey.

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