NHL points leader Kucherov has 2 goals, Vasilevskiy makes 28 saves as Lightning beat Blues 6-1

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Kucherov Blistering Hot As Lightning Win
(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Kucherov Blistering Hot As Lightning Win
(AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — NHL points leader Nikita Kucherov had two goals, Andrei Vasilevskiy made 28 saves and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the St. Louis Blues 6-1 on Tuesday night.

Michael Eyssimont, Tyler Motte, Haydn Fleury and Nicholas Paul also scored for the Lightning, who have won five of 12. Steven Stamkos had three assists to move past Theo Fleury (1,088) into 67th place on the career points list with 1,090.

“When we get in trouble sometimes is we try to make the extra play and it results in a turnover,” said Paul, who had two assists. “I think a big message for us before the game was just simplify the game. Work hard, win battles, and pucks to the net.”

Blues goalie Jordan Binnington was pulled in the second period after allowing five goals on 23 shots. He had a 5-0 shutout against Tampa Bay in the previous meeting between the teams on Nov. 14.

St. Louis interim coach Drew Bannister lost in his first road game following a pair of home victories after taking over when Craig Berube was fired on Dec. 12.

“We’ve just got to do a better job when we’re defending,” Bannister said.

The Blues got a power-play goal from Justin Faulk with 4:05 left. He ended a 34-game goal drought.

Kucherov scored twice 1:50 apart late in the first and early in the second to make it 4-0. The right wing has 54 points, including 22 goals.

Vasilevskiy stopped Kevin Hayes on a short-handed breakaway midway through the first. The Blues have eight short-handed goals.

“We didn’t need to bring any risk into the game and I thought we just gave St. Louis way too many chances to get back into the game, and Vasy fortunately kicked them out,” Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said.

St. Louis’ NHL-worst power play went 1 for 3 and has converted three chances in 30 tries over the last 11 games. Two goals have come in the last two games.

Eyssimont stopped a 19-game goal drought 2:23 into the game after Binnington misplayed a dump-in behind the net.

Fleury got his first goal in 67 games during the second. He also had an assist and finished plus-four.

Tampa Bay defenseman Mikhail Sergachev took a shot by Colton Parayko off the back of his left foot in the first and did not return. His foot was in a boot after the game.

UP NEXT

Blues: Play at Florida on Thursday night.

Lightning: Will host Vegas on Thursday night.

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AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL