TAMPA – In a matchup between two of the top three teams in the league standings and two of the top three in scoring, the Lightning got goals from six different players in a 6-3 win over Calgary at Amalie Arena on Tuesday night.
The decision enabled the Lightning to stretch their points streak to seven games at 5-0-2.
Eleven players managed at least one point led by Nikita Kucherov’s four. The league’s leading scorer had a goal and three assists giving him 88 points and a six-point lead on Chicago’s Patrick Kane, who had an assist in a loss at Boston.
Brayden Point had a goal and two assists and Steven Stamkos and Yanni Gourde each had a goal and an assist. Stamkos’ goal was his 30th of the season marking the sixth time he has reached that plateau.
“When you look at the scoresheet, it’s spread all around,” said coach Jon Cooper. “Kuch had four points, Point had three points and Stammer got on the sheet. So, you are happy when guys who don’t score as much as those other guys have the opportunity to. But the big thing for us is how we are playing on the other side of the puck.”
Tampa Bay played pretty well on the other side of the puck as the Flames, third in league scoring at 3.67 goals per game, did not get their 20th shot on goal until the final few minutes of the game. They finished with 22.
After a quiet first half of the opening period the teams struck for four goals in 6:12 with the Lightning scoring the first three. The scoring spree commenced at 11:54 when, on the powerplay, Point took a feed from J.T. Miller and put home his 33rd goal and league-best 16th on the man advantage.
The lead grew to 3-0 when Cedric Paquette, off a left-wing circle pass from Danick Martel, and Kucherov, on a blast from straightway and inside the blue line that found its way through a screen, scored within 1:13.
Kucherov’s goal, at 17:19, was not made official until a review determined Gourde did not interfere with Flames goalie David Rittich.
“We had a real good first period, which was our goal coming off the third (period) we had in Florida,” said Stamkos of Sunday night’s 5-2 win in Sunrise against the Panthers. “We were able to build off that. We’re playing some smarter hockey with the puck now. We got a couple of powerplay goals and five-on-five we played real well tonight.”
Sean Monahan brought Calgary to with 3-2 at 9:13 of the second. Tampa Bay responded 57 seconds later when Anthony Cirelli, on a goal set up by Kucherov, upped the lead to 4-2.
The Lightning restored their three-goal lead when Gourde deflected Braydon Coburn’s wrister from above the left-wing circle past Rittich at 16:11.
Stamkos, on a patented blast from the left circle, scored on the powerplay to make it 6-2 at 5:01 of the third period. Monahan’s second of the night at 14:11 on the man advantage capped the scoring.
“I think we played a good, hard and smart game,” said Point. “These are big games and the more experience you can get out of these games going into the playoffs is good for us.”
Tampa Bay took both matchups against the Flames this season (5-4 SO on Dec. 20 in Calgary) after having split the previous three years.
Tuesday night was the first of three straight at home for the Lightning, who upped their league-high points total to 88. Dallas comes to town Thursday night and Montreal is at Amalie Arena on Saturday night.