Kucherov Departs Game In DiscomfortFollow @Steve_Kinsella1
Tampa, FL – Steven Stamkos‘ goal with 15-seconds remaining in OT was the game winner as the Tampa Bay Lightning (2-1-0) to a 2-1 victory over the Washington Capitals (1-1-0). The win is dampened by the concern for the health of Nikita Kucherov who had to depart the game midway through the third period.
The injury occurred after a collision with Garnet Hathaway midway through the third period. Kucherov gingerly skated off the ice in a considerable amount of discomfort. He made his to the bench then ventured down the tunnel and did not return. The Lightning also were without defenseman Jan Rutta during the final half of the game.
Lighting coach Jon Cooper did not have an update on either Kucherov or Rutta after the game. He did say in regards to Kucherov “let’s not hit any panic buttons, we’ll see what the evaluation is when we get back and move forward. We only have two games next week so it’s probably a good time for a lighter schedule.”
Mikhail Sergachev tied the game in the third period and Steven Stamkos scored in overtime. Andrei Vasilevskiy was outstanding in stopping 32 shots and ended a three game personal losing streak against the Capitals. The Lightning penalty kill was also perfect in four opportunities including one in the overtime period.
“We can run and gun, for sure — we’ve done that in the past,” Stamkos said after the game. “What’s made us successful the last couple years is the ability to play in these types of games: In close games, rely on our good goaltending, rely on our special teams, rely on our solid 5-on-5 play, and we saw a lot of that tonight.”*
Alex Ovechkin notched his third goal of the season breaking a scoreless tie with just under two minutes to play in the second period. It was his 49th career goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the most goals he’s scored against any opponent. Vitek Vanecek stopped 22-of-24 shots.
- Boris Katchouk made his NHL debut and logged 6:22 in ice-time.
- Mikhail Sergachev scored his first goal of the season and now has points in consecutive games. It was his first goal since May 5, 2021 against the Dallas Stars in a 6-2 Lightning victory. Steven Stamkos (4) and Erik Cernak (2) picked up assists. Cernak now has assist in each of the last two games.
- Stamkos’ overtime goal was his third goal of the season with Pierre-Edouard Bellemare picking up the lone assist. It was Bellamare’s first point as a member of the Lightning and his 99th career point.
- More Stamkos: It was his ninth career goal in overtime, pulling him ahead of Vincent Lecavalier and moving into second place among Tampa Bay’s all-time overtime goal scorers. Only Martin St. Louis (10 career OT goals with Tampa Bay) has more.
- It was Stamkos’ third consecutive multi-point game and the first time he’s opened a season with three consecutive multi-point games. His career regular season high multi-point consecutive game streak is five (twice). Most recently, he accomplished the feat from October 5 through 17, 2017. He also did it from February 9 through March 2, 2010.
- Stamkos’ assist extends his consecutive point streak to three games. The goal and assist give him 873 career points pulling him within one point of Vincent Lecavalier (874) for second place on the all-time points franchise scoring list.
- The Bolts avoided allowing six or more goals for a franchise tying third straight game (three times). The most recent streak came from October 27 through November 1, 2000. That streak included a 6-0 loss to the Ottawa Senators, a 6-5 overtime loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, and a 6-1 loss to the New York Rangers.
- Tampa Bay improves to 44-73-9 with six ties against the Washington Capitals.
Lightning Injury Notes:
Up Next For The Lightning:
The Lightning return to Amalie Arena Tuesday night to begin a brief two-game homestand. They’ll open against their in-state rival Florida Panthers and then take on the Colorado Avalanche Saturday evening. Both games are slated for 7:00 pm puck drops.
- *Steven Stamkos quote from Associated Press (HERE)
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