Lightning Bury Oilers on Kucherov’s 5-Point Night

EDMONTON — Nikita Kucherov had a goal and four assists while Steven Stamkos and Tyler Johnson each scored twice as the Tampa Bay Lightning extended their point streak to 12 games with a 6-3 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday.

Tampa Bay Lightning Tampa Bay Lightning Nikita Kucherov Edmonton Oilers Jason Garrison
Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov and Edmonton Oilers defenseman Jason Garrison (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Codie McLachlan)

J.T Miller also scored for the Lightning (28-7-2), who have gone an impressive 11-0-1 in their last 12 games for the best run in the NHL this season.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Alex Chiasson and Leon Draisaitl scored while Connor McDavid had three assists for the Oilers (18-15-3), who have lost three straight.

Edmonton goalie Mikko Koskinen lost for the first time on home ice, dropping to 7-1-0.

Edmonton got on the board first midway through the opening period on a give-and-go play from McDavid to Nugent-Hopkins, who sent his 12th goal of the season past Tampa Bay goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy.

McDavid picked up his 200th career assist on the play, becoming just the sixth player in NHL history to reach the milestone before his 22nd birthday — joining a club including Wayne Gretzky, Sidney Crosby, Mario Lemieux, Dale Hawerchuk and Ron Francis.

Tampa Bay tied it up on the power play with three minutes left in the first when Stamkos blasted a one-timer past Koskinen for his 19th of the season.

Koskinen made a huge save on a Kucherov breakaway early in the second.

The Oilers pulled back in front on the power play three minutes into the middle frame on a Chiasson tip of a point blast by Darnell Nurse.

Kucherov got another clear breakaway with seven minutes left in the second period and this time made no mistake in scoring his 16th goal.

The Lightning went up 3-2 a minute-and-a-half later as Miller redirected in a shot from the front of the net.

Tampa Bay added to its lead four minutes into the second when Johnson pounced on a big rebound for his 15th.

Edmonton got that one back quickly on a power play as McDavid fed it to Draisaitl for his 17th of the season, however the Lightning put it away on Stamkos’s second of the game with five minutes left and got an empty-netter from Johnson.

Both teams are now off for the holiday break until Thursday when the Oilers play host to the Vancouver Canucks and the Lightning return home to face the Philadelphia Flyers.

Shane Jones, The Canadian Press