The Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 to improve their record to 52-13-4 on the season.
Nikita Kucherov tallied two goals tonight, including the record breaking goal to beat Vincent Lecavalier‘s record for most points in a season by a Lightning player. The goal increased the lead to 2-0 and came off a great forecheck by defenseman Victor Hedman getting the puck to Brayden Point, who slid it to Kucherov for the tally.
The Lightning opened the scoring off of a shot from the point by Ryan McDonagh. After a faceoff win by Alex Killorn, Erik Cernak slid the puck over the McDonagh and he shot it past a screened Jonathan Bernier.
The Bolts killed off five of six penalties for the game, failing to convert at the end of the second period with seconds remaining as Thomas Vanek deflected a shot from the point to make it a 2-1 game.
After what looked like a Steven Stamkos goal to make it 3-1, it was waived off due to offsides; it was the second time a goal was waived off for the night. Later in the period, Kucherov capitalized on a slapshot that bulleted past Jonathan Bernier. The Red Wings, with the goalie pulled, scored to make it a 3-2 game six minutes after, but the Bolts were able to hold off the Wings in the final seconds.
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Louis Domingue picked up his 20th win on the season, saving 22 out of 24 shots faced. For Detroit, Jonathan Bernier suffered the loss. He made 30 saves out of the 33 shots he faced.
5-on-5 play was the best part of the game for the Lightning as they dominated the Red Wings all game. All four lines were pressuring Detroit’s defenseman which caused many turnovers that led to quality scoring opportunities for the Bolts. But big saves and missed opportunities kept it a close game.
My 3 Stars of the game:
1st star: Nikita Kucherov (2 goals)
2nd star: Victor Hedman (1 assist)
3rd star: Ryan McDonagh (1 goal)