Tampa Bay Times

This duo has a familiar feel

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TAMPA — Lightning captain Steven Stamkos says his chemistry with Nikita Kucherov reminds him of his days with Marty St. Louis.

They think the same way. They share the same instincts, deceptiven­ess. And, of course, there’s the world-class skill.

Watching Stamkos and Kucherov, even St. Louis can’t help but have flashbacks.

“I definitely see some resemblanc­e of when me and Stamkos played together,” St. Louis said. “It’s great to see. They look like they’re having fun out there.”

Fun? They’re having a blast. And why not? The linemates are dominating the league, lifting the Lightning to a franchise-best 9-1-1 start heading into tonight’s game against the Ducks. Stamkos (21 points) and Kucherov (19) were the top two scorers in the league entering Friday, and you might be surprised how they’ve gotten there.

Stamkos, a two-time 50-goal scorer, has been the set-up man with a league-best 17 assists, with Kucherov, a league-high 12 goals, the finisher.

“Is Stamkos Marty now?” coach Jon Cooper quipped. “And

 ?? DIRK SHADD Times
| ?? The pairing of Steven Stamkos, front, and Nikita Kucherov, back, remind many of the pairing of Stamkos and Marty St. Louis.
DIRK SHADD Times | The pairing of Steven Stamkos, front, and Nikita Kucherov, back, remind many of the pairing of Stamkos and Marty St. Louis.
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sports.tampabay.com

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