Nikita Kucherov Beats the Leafs and Sets the Lightning Points Mark

Nikita Kucherov Beats the Leafs and Sets the Lightning Points Mark

The visiting Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 on Wednesday night, led by Nikita Kucherov, who recorded three assists and set a team record with 130 points this season.

With 42 goals and 88 assists, Kucherov has surpassed his personal team record of 128 points, which he set during the 2018–19 campaign.

In the opening frame, Toronto’s Auston Matthews tied the score at one goal apiece with his league-leading 63rd goal of the year.

Toronto’s Joseph Woll (43-23-9, 95 points) made 21 saves.

The Lightning’s scorers were Nicholas Paul, Steven Stamkos, Brayden Point, and Victor Hedman. In the victory, Brandon Hagel provided two assists.

28 saves by Andrei Vasilevskiy helped Tampa Bay (42-26-7, 91 points).

The sides’ two prior meetings this season were won by the Maple Leafs.

With a screened shot at 10:03 of the first period, Hedman scored his 13th goal of the year. The goal came after Toronto was given a delayed penalty call, and Vasilevskiy was substituted for an additional attacker. Anthony Cirelli positioned the screen in front of Woll after Kucherov passed the ball to Hedman.

At 19 minutes into the first period, Matthews scored a power-play goal with a one-timer from above the right circle. The faceoff was won by John Tavares, and Morgan Rielly fed Matthews the ball. Due to interfering, Luke Glendening was benched.

At 2:54 of the second session, Point scored his 43rd goal of the year by tucking in a pass from Kucherov behind the net.

At 8:47 in the second, Tampa Bay established a 3-1 lead. At the conclusion of a two-on-one period, Stamkos scored his 32nd goal of the year by passing the puck and then shooting.

At 14:19 in the third, Paul scored his 20th goal of the year with a wrist shot.

The Lightning, who have scored in ten of their last eleven games, trail the third-place Maple Leafs in the Atlantic Division by four points.

Mitchell Marner (ankle) was still out for Toronto; he could be back against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday.

Sanchita Patil

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