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Kucherov, Vasilevskiy lead Bolts to ninth-straight win

Nikita Kucherov scored twice and Andrei Vasilevskiy recorded his first shutout of the year in a 4-0 win over Arizona on Thursday

by Jacob Lynn @TBLightning /

The Lightning extended their winning streak to nine games with a 4-0 shutout of the Coyotes.

Nikita Kucherov and Andrei Vasilevskiy led the way for the Bolts on Thursday. Kucherov scored twice and Vasilevskiy notched his first shutout of the season in the victory.

While it took Tampa Bay's offense some time to get going, Vasilevskiy came up with a big early save on a Taylor Hall partial breakaway to set the tone. Hall made a move to his forehand but Vasilevskiy extended his right leg at the last moment to keep the puck out of the net.

The offense came through late in the period to give the Bolts a 2-0 lead through 20 minutes. Alex Killorn scored his 18th goal of the year with less than five minutes to play in the period, jamming the puck past Adin Hill to put the Lightning up one. Mikhail Sergachev doubled the Lightning's lead minutes later when his centering attempt deflected off an Arizona defender and into the net.

Video: ARI@TBL: Killorn jams puck past Hill for opening goal

A pair of Nikita Kucherov goals less than three minutes apart in the second rounded out the game's scoring. Brayden Point set up the first goal, finding Kucherov wide open at the right circle for a wrist shot. On the second, Steven Stamkos sent a backhand pass to Kucherov on the goalline and he wired the puck home before Hill had a chance to react.

Vasilevskiy finished the night with 25 saves to record Tampa Bay's first shutout of the year. A lot of credit belongs to the defense as Tampa Bay did a good job limiting Arizona's scoring chances.

Four different Bolts registered multiple points on Thursday. Pat Maroon, Cedric Paquette and Stamkos all recorded a pair of assists while Kucherov added two goals.

Not everything went well for the Bolts as both Maroon and Ondrej Palat exited with injuries. Maroon left after taking an elbow to the face from Arizona's Carl Soderberg in the second period. Palat took a hip check from Hall in the third and headed straight to the locker room.

The Bolts will now hit the road for a back-to-back set this weekend in Philadelphia and New Jersey.

Scoring Summary
1st Period
TBL | 15:06 Alex Killorn (18) - Pat Maroon, Cedric Paquette
TBL | 18:24 Mikhail Sergachev (7) - Cedric Paquette, Pat Maroon

2nd Period
TBL | 6:15 Nikita Kucherov (16) - Brayden Point, Steven Stamkos
TBL | 8:52 Nikita Kucherov (17) - Steven Stamkos, Jan Rutta

3rd Period
No Scoring

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