Kucherov writes another chapter in Bolts history against Detroit

TAMPA, FL - MARCH 9: Nikita Kucherov #86 of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrates his goal and franchise record setting point against the Detroit Red Wings during the first period at Amalie Arena on March 9, 2019 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)
TAMPA, FL - MARCH 9: Nikita Kucherov #86 of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrates his goal and franchise record setting point against the Detroit Red Wings during the first period at Amalie Arena on March 9, 2019 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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This memorable season just keeps on rolling for the Tampa Bay Lightning as Nikita Kucherov did what all of us knew and were just waiting for him to do: break Vincent Lecavalier’s single-season points franchise record.

In the Lightning game on Saturday night, Kucherov tallied two of the Lightning’s three goals in a 3-2 win against the Red Wings at Amalie Arena. His first one at the 11:56 mark in the first period would be the point that put him past Lecavalier at 109 points for the season. The Lightning faithful gave Kucherov a well-deserved standing ovation in recognition of the incredible milestone.

“It’s special for me and my family,” said Kucherov in a postgame interview via NHL.com. “I don’t think many people believed in me and I’m just trying to keep (proving) them wrong.”

Kucherov would score another in the third period which would end up being the game winner for the Bolts, giving them an additional little piece of NHL history as the team with the longest regular-season winning streak against the Detroit Red Wings ever, with 14-straight wins dating back to February of 2016.

The two goals on the night put Kucherov at 110 points on the season, leading the league in not only that category but in assists as well with 77 on the year. The crazy thing about Kucherov breaking Lecavalier’s record – which was set in the 2006-07 season – is that there are still 13 games to be played for the Bolts, which means 13 more games for Kucherov to keep raising the bar for that team record.

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It could be worth noting that over his last 13 games, Kucherov is averaging two points per game, with 26 over that span. So going off the assumption that he maintains that pace, it would put him at 136 points and slide him into a three-way tie, with Dennis Maruk and Hall of Famer Guy Lafleur, for 31st all-time in the NHL single-season points record books. Of course this is all hearsay until we see how much more Kucherov puts up by the season’s end.

Regardless of whether or not Kucherov even scores another single point for the remainder of the regular season, there is no denying how remarkable a year it has been for the 25-year-old winger. In his past five NHL seasons – all of them being with the Bolts – Kucherov has consistently improved his total point numbers each season, finishing with 18, 65, 66, 85 and 100 scoring points respectively from 2013-2018.

This year he will finish well above last season’s century mark and write himself into a page of Tampa Bay Lightning history.