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game recap

Nikita Kucherov sparks Lightning past Senators

Tampa Bay forward scores three consecutive power-play goals in second period

by Corey Long / NHL.com Correspondent

TAMPA -- Nikita Kucherov had a natural hat trick in the second period to help the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 5-1 win against the Ottawa Senators at Amalie Arena on Monday.

Brayden Point and Braydon Coburn also scored for Tampa Bay (28-25-8), and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 39 saves for his first win since Jan. 24 against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Kyle Turris scored for Ottawa (33-22-6), which finished 2-2-0 on its four-game road trip. Mike Condon made 29 saves.

 

WATCH: All Senators vs. Lightning highlights

 

All three of Kucherov's second-period goals were scored via the power play and were one-timers from the right circle. He is the third player in Lightning history to have a natural hat trick, joining Chris Kontos and Martin St. Louis. The three power-play goals matched a Lightning record set by Kontos in their first game on Oct. 7, 1992.

"When [Kucherov] has that shooter's mentality with the gift that he has to put the puck in the back of the net, this is what happens," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said.

Video: OTT@TBL: Kucherov records second career hat trick

Kucherov's first goal gave the Lightning a 2-1 lead at 5:37 of the second when he beat Condon five-hole off a pass from Victor Hedman.

"Right now for us, it's like the playoffs," Kucherov said. "It's huge. We need these points."

He made it 3-1 at 10:26 when he beat Condon low on the glove side after taking a pass from Jonathan Drouin.

Kucherov's third goal of period and 26th of the season gave the Lightning a 4-1 lead at 19:46 when his shot beat Condon high to the near post.

Video: OTT@TBL: Turris one-times PPG for 300th career point

Drouin had an assist on all three of Kucherov's goals.

"He missed the first one, so I wasn't sure if we should give him the puck again. But [Hedman] gave him another chance," Drouin said. "He practices that [right circle] shot all the time. That last goal on the short side is one I see him do in practice every day."

Ottawa took a 1-0 lead at 6:26 of the first period on Turris' 22nd goal of the season and 300th NHL point. The Senators had a 5-on-3 advantage and Turris scored on a one-timer between Vasilevskiy's pads.

"We had chances, but our power plays has been terrible the last four or five games," Senators forward Mark Stone said. "It hasn't created us any momentum, it hasn't gotten us very much. Nice to get one on the 5-on-3, but you're supposed to score on those."

Point tied the game 1-1 at 1:39 of the second period when he took control off a loose puck at the right circle and sent a slap shot past Condon.

Coburn's third goal of the season made it 5-1 at 10:57 of the third period.

Video: OTT@TBL: Coburn snaps puck in off iron to extend lead

"I think we played a good game, not a great game," Senators captain Erik Karlsson said. "We generated enough and we definitely started the game the way that we wanted, but they scored three on the power play and we don't. Both teams created a lot and we couldn't find a way to score a goal."

 
Goal of the game

Point got his ninth goal of the season with heady defensive play in the zone to capitalize an errant pass from Senators center Zack Smith and bury a slap shot top-shelf past Condon.

Video: OTT@TBL: Point beats Condon up high after turnover

 
Save of the game

Vasilevskiy made a full extension to cover an open net and turn away Chris Kelly's rebound attempt on a 2-on-1 at 8:04 of the first period. "It's my first victory in a long time," Vasilevskiy said. "It's been frustrating, but today was a [positive] step."

Video: OTT@TBL: Vasilevskiy reaches to rob Kelly with stick

 
Unsung performance of the game

Lightning forward Adam Erne was tough on the puck and had solid scoring opportunities on his three shots. Erne also had two takeaways and a hit in 13:33 of ice time.

 

Highlight of the game

Kucherov's third goal of the second period was the best of the bunch, a one-timer that went above Condon's glove on the short side, to give him his second NHL hat trick.

Video: OTT@TBL: Kucherov buries third PPG for hat trick

 
They said it

"The guys came out, they battled … and [Sunday, a 2-1 win against the Florida Panthers], they gave everything they got. Everything. And we came out strong, it could have been two or three to nothing and their goaltender was outstanding, made the key saves and we needed those goals." -- Senators coach Guy Boucher

 

"Everybody understands, [trades] is part of the business. From us, we just need to continue playing our game. We have a general manager to take care of it, and our goal is just play hockey." -- Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov

 
Need to know

The Lightning traded center Brian Boyle to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday for forward Byron Froese and a 2017 conditional second-round pick. ... The Senators acquired forward Alexandre Burrows from the Vancouver Canucks for forward Jonathan Dahlen. … Coburn's goal was scored on his 32nd birthday. … Senators forward Curtis Lazar missed his second consecutive game because of an upper-body injury.

 
What's next

Senators: Host the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday (7:30 p.m. ET; RDS2, TSN5, ALT, NHL.TV)

Lightning: Host the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET; SUN, FS-SE, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Kucherov nets a hat trick, leading Bolts to a 5-1 win

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