Point has 3 goals and 3 assists, Kucherov adds a goal and 4 assists as Lightning beat Rangers 6-3

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Brayden Point Leads Lightning Past Rangers
(AP Photo/Jason Behnken)

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Brayden Point had three goals and three assists, Nikita Kucherov added a goal and four assists, and the Tampa Bay Lightning rallied to beat the Metropolitan Division-leading New York Rangers 6-3 on Thursday night.

Steven Stamkos and Anthony Duclair also scored, and Andrei Vasilevskiy finished with 25 saves as the Lightning came back from deficits of 2-0 and 3-2. Tampa Bay holds the top wild card in the Eastern Conference — four points ahead of the New York Islanders and Detroit, who are tied for the second wild card.

Point’s nifty backhand pass to Stamkos during a power-play made it 4-3 with 7:15 left in the third, and Point completed his fourth hat trick 2:03 later before assisting on Kucherov’s empty-netter with 3:38 left for a career-high six points that also tied the team record.

“It’s very cool,” Point said. “You know, just one of those nights where everything kind of seems to work out.”

Stamkos has 208 power-play goals, which is three away from tying Gordie Howe for 15th place. His 540 goals overall is one back of matching Stan Mikita for 33rd all-time.

Kucherov, second in the NHL with 112 points, joined Edmonton’s Connor McDavid as the only active players with three or more 70-assist seasons.

“Two of the top players in the world for reason and they showed it,” Stamkos said. “These are huge games and you need your best players to be your best players, and they certainly were tonight.”

Jack Roslovic had a goal and an assist, and Artemi Panarin and Braden Schneider also scored for the Rangers. Igor Shesterkin had 22 saves as New York fell to 14-3-1 in its last 18 games.

“I dont think we gave up a boatload of chances but they got a couple of dangerous players that hurt us,” Rangers coach Peter Laviolette said.

Rangers center Mika Zibanejad left in the second after it appeared he was hit in the face by a puck, but returned in the third wearing a full shield.

This was just the third time in the past 10 years that both goalies were coming off a shutout. Shesterkin had shutouts in his previous two games.

After Roslovic put the Rangers up 3-2 at 1:48 of the third, Point tied it 1:53 later.

Panarin and Schneider had first-period goals. It was Panarin’s first goal in six games, while Schneider stopped a 32-game goal drought.

Tampa Bay tied it at 2 on second-period goals by Point and Duclair. New York had allowed one goal in its previous three games.

“A massive team effort,” Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said.

New York defenseman Ryan Lindgren and Duclair had a hard collision in third along the boards that saw the Tampa Bay left wing’s stick go into the crowd,

Referee Frederick L’Ecuyer was honored before his 1,000th game. He was given a signed jersey from both teams, and NHL Vice President of Officiating Don VanMassenhoven presented him a Tiffany crystal on behalf of the league.

UP NEXT

Rangers: Host Pittsburgh on Saturday.

Lightning: Start a five-game trip Saturday night at Florida.

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AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl