Nikita Kucherov scored his second goal of the game with just 1:10 left in the third period to send the Tampa Bay Lightning past the Detroit Red Wings 4-3. The victory may be an expensive one though, as superstar Steven Stamkos was injured and did not return to the game.
Goalie Ben Bishop made 25 saves and beat the Red Wings for the second time this season.
The Lightning won both halves of a back-to-back following yesterday’s 4-1 win over the Islanders and improved to 10-6-1 with 21 points on the season.
At 3:30 of the first period Nikita Kucherov scored the easiest goal he’ll ever score as he stole the puck from Red Wings goalie Petr Mrazek and easily put it in for his seventh of the year. Nikita Nesterov and Vladislav Namestnikov.
Steven Stamkos made it 2-0 at 6:09 scoring his ninth from Kucherov and Victor Hedman. Stamkos’ goal gave him the NHL points lead. The assist moved Hedman into sole possession of sixth place on the Lightning’s all-time assists list (190 career), passing Brian Bradley. The goal tied Steven Stamkos for the NHL lead with 20 points (nine goals, 11 assists).
Detroit got one back on an ill-advised reverse by Hedman that Luke Glendening stole and dished to Frans Nielsen who beat Ben Bishop with a backhand for his third of the season. Time of the goal was 18:41.
The Lightning led 2-1 after the first period, but Steven Stamkos did not return after appearing to injure his right knee/leg midway through the period.
Nikita Kucherov scored with 1:10 left to play as the puck bounced right to him off of Drew Miller and he made no mistake. The game winner was Kucherov’s second of the game and eighth of the season. Assists went to Tyler Johnson (His 100th career assist) and Braydon Coburn. Red Wings goalie Mrazek over committed leaving the goal open for Kucherov.
With a goal and an assist tonight, Nikita Nesterov registered his first career multi-point regular season game. He had two in the 2015 playoffs.
“You hope it’s not serious. Usually he (Stamkos) comes back. He didn’t come back,” stated Brian Boyle
“You don’t want to lose players, especially the best player in the world,” defenseman Victor Hedman said. “The start he’s been off to, he’s been unbelievable. He’s our leader.”
“Hopefully it’s something minor,” Coach Jon Cooper said. “We’ll have to wait and see.”
The Bolts travel to Buffalo on Thursday to take on the Sabres at 7:00.