NEWARK, N.J. — Nikita Kucherov had a goal and three assists for his first four-point game, leading the Tampa Bay Lightning to an easy 5-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Monday night.
Brayden Point had a goal and two assists, Steven Stamkos added a goal and an assist, and Tyler Johnson and Yanni Gourde and also scored to help the Lightning become the first team in the league to reach 20 wins this season.
Ryan McDonagh had two assists and Louis Domingue stopped 26 shots as Tampa Bay got its third straight win and sixth in seven games.
Egor Yakovlev scored his first career goal for the Devils, who have lost six straight and eight of nine. Keith Kinkaid started and gave up four goals on 20 shots before he was pulled after two periods. Cory Schneider had five saves in the third.
New Jersey, which lost in regulation at home for only the second time this season, seemed to have the better of the early play, outshooting the Lightning 7-1 over the first 10 minutes, but it didn’t take long for league’s top offensive team get going.
First, Kucherov extended his points streak to 10 games with a goal with a little more than six minutes left in the first period on a 40-foot shot that seemed to handcuff Kinkaid.
Then Point continued his mastery over the Devils with a power play goal with less than a minute remaining in the period. It was Point’s 20th goal of the season and his sixth goal in nine career games against New Jersey.
The Lightning made it 3-0 when McDonagh’s wrist shot was deflected in front by Johnson for his 11th.
The Devils crept back into the game at 11:26 of the second period, when rookie defenceman Yakovlev got his first goal.
But the high-flying Lightning wasted little time to push the lead back to three when Gourde scored his 10th just 1:13 later off a pretty feed from Stamkos.
Stamkos scored a power-play goal in the first 20 seconds of the third on the first shot that Schneider faced. It was Stamkos’ ninth of the season.
NOTES: The Lightning lead the NHL in goals scored (107) and goals per game at 3.9. … Point continued his domination of the Devils and now has five goals and seven assists in his last five regular season contests against New Jersey. … Kucherov had his 84th multipoint game since the start of the 2015-16 season. Only Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby has more during that span with 87. It was the 100th multipoint game of Kucherov’s career. … Kucherov’s scoring streak is just one shy of a career high. … It was the last of three meetings between the two teams this season, with Tampa Bay winning all three.
Lightining: At Detroit on Tuesday night.
Devils: At Los Angeles on Thursday night.
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Jim Hague, The Associated Press