Kucherov-Led Lightning Mute the Blues

by | Dec 20, 2023

Kucherov-Led Lightning Mute the Blues

by | Dec 20, 2023

TAMPA – Nikita Kucherov scored his 21st and 22nd goals of the season and Andrei Vasilevskiy turned away 28 of 29 St. Louis shots and the Tampa Bay Lightning cruised to a 6-1 win over the Blues in Amalie Arena on Tuesday evening.

Tampa Bay performed a total destruction of the Blues squad who shut out the Bolts, 5-0, in St. Louis on Nov. 14. The Bolts posted their third straight home win by scoring their seventh game-opening goal in the last eight games.

Kucherov’s goals allowed the Lightning to take command as he scored at 19:47  in the first which gave Tampa Bay a 3-0 lead. He skated on the right side of the ice as the Lightning featured a rush with Brayden Point in the middle.

Point dropped the puck to Kucherov who skated toward the middle, himself, and scored on a deep shot from behind the circles.

“What you are forgetting is (Brayden Schenn) hit the post literally 20 seconds before Kuch made it 3-0,” analyzed Lightning head coach Jon Cooper. “You came in 3-0 vs. 2-1. To me, that was big.”

Kucherov’s 22nd marker came at 1:36 in the second period when he took the puck behind the right circle and unleashed his second goal of the night toward the middle of the net and by St. Louis goalie Jordan Binnington’s right side.

This spelled Kucherov’s eighth multi-goal game of the season and the 44th of his career.

“You scored that goal early in the second and now it is 4-0,” said Cooper.  “If it goes in on the Shenn try, who knows how this game can go? It worked out for us.”

Tampa Bay had 12 different players to pick up points in the win as many are returning from injury and getting their games back together.

“They’ve played a bunch of games early on,” said Cooper. “They weren’t pointing and had done some things well. Pucks that maybe should have gone in for them are now going in.”

The third and fourth line put the team ahead in the scoring category as forward Michael Eyssimont scored just 2:23 into the contest when he connected on his first goal in 20 games.

At 17:10, fourth-line forward Tyler Motte collected a puck in the right circle and put a shot on goal on the wrap-around. Connor Sheary followed and then Motte pushed the puck in from the left doorstep as Sheary’s shot hit the right post.

“You do those things and put the other team under duress and make the game a little unpredictable in their defensive zone,” said Cooper. “When you are around it and shooting it enough, good things are likely to happen for you. It happened for us tonight in the first period and a little bit of the second.”

Rookie Hayden Fleury connected in the first goal of his Lightning career at 12:13 in the second period and then Nick Paul scored on a power play marker at 7:53 in the third for the 6-0 lead.

“Anytime you can take some pressure off of Coach, Stam (Steven Stamkos), or Pointer (Brayden Point) and get some secondary scoring, it’s what good teams do,” explained Fleury. “We take pride in being a good team at home and we were good tonight.”

Stamkos tallied three assists and has eight points in his last seven games.

Ever wonder what it would be like if your everyday car was a ZAMBONI?!?!?

Wonder no longer…

Check out The Zambonis' latest hit, "Slow Whip"!