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game recap

Lightning tie NHL wins record with victory against Bruins

Match 62 set by 1995-96 Red Wings; Kucherov has 128 points, most in season by Russia-born player

by Matt Kalman / NHL.com Correspondent

Kucherov sets Russian record

TBL@BOS: Kucherov sets record with his 128th point

Nikita Kucherov gets his 128th point of the season on Tyler Johnson's goal, setting the record for most points by a Russian player in a season

  • 00:48 •

BOSTON -- The Tampa Bay Lightning tied the NHL record for wins in a season with a 6-3 victory against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden on Saturday.

The 62nd win, in the final game of the regular season, matched the 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings, who were 62-13 with seven ties. The Lightning won six games in a shootout, which was instituted in 2005-06.

"Yeah, we've said it all along, we're just taking this thing in stride," Tampa Bay captain Steven Stamkos said. "That's a result of us playing the right way and winning hockey games. It's no easy feat in today's NHL with the parity that we have that I think is the greatest in sports. To have a season like we did, but there's no satisfaction in this group with the regular season."

 

[WATCH: All Lightning vs. Bruins highlights]

 

The Lightning (62-16-4) will have home-ice advantage throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov had a goal and an assist to set the single-season NHL points record (128) for a Russia-born player. Kucherov, the NHL scoring leader, finished with 41 goals and 87 assists to pass Alexander Mogilny, who had 127 points (76 goals, 51 assists) for the Buffalo Sabres in 1992-93.

"It's definitely a special moment," Kucherov said. "Thanks to all the guys in the room for helping me out, I wouldn't be where I am now. It's a team effort."

Video: TBL@BOS: Kucherov gets 127th point of the season

The Bruins (49-24-9), who finished in second place behind the Lightning in the Atlantic Division, will have home ice against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Eastern Conference First Round.

"The first thing you always want to do is to play to win, you prepare to win, so that didn't happen," Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said. "We talked about certain things that they do similar to Toronto in terms of neutral-zone rush defense. For the most part we did a good job, obviously gave up a goal start of the third, but I think that was more … we weren't strong on the puck, they made a good play.

"I thought we competed hard offensively at least to score goals. Their goalie was very good in there, very competitive, so that part of it was good. So teamwise, yeah, we checked some boxes and other ones we didn't quite hit."

David Krejci scored on a 2-on-1 with Charlie McAvoy at 14:38 of the first period to give Boston a 1-0 lead. Danton Heinen made it 2-0 with a goal at 19:40.

Erik Cernak's power-play got Tampa Bay within 2-1 at 4:41 of the second period. Stamkos stole a pass and went in on a breakaway to score a shorthanded goal to tie it 2-2 at 12:52.

Video: TBL@BOS: Stamkos nets SHG, sets career high in points

Anthony Cirelli's goal off Heinen's stick gave the Lightning a 3-2 lead at 16:59. The goal was upheld after a coach's challenge to review whether  Alex Killorn interfered with goalie Tuukka Rask.

Kucherov's goal 53 seconds into the third period gave the Lightning a 4-2 lead. Matt Grzelcyk got the Bruins back within 4-3 at 14:03. Braydon Coburn's goal 13 seconds later put the Lightning ahead 5-3.

Tyler Johnson scored an empty-net goal at 18:34 with the record-breaking assist from Kucherov for the 6-3 final.

Edward Pasquale made 30 saves for Tampa Bay; Rask made 16 for Boston.

Video: Dunkin' Comebacks: Lightning, Canadiens, Predators

 

They said it

"Yeah it was pretty special. You could tell from the bench's reaction and obviously his reaction that there was some meaning to this game for him, and it was probably inevitable that it was going to happen, so really happy for him. He's had a tremendous season, and coming down the stretch, we talk a lot about this team in this room, but to be able to achieve something as an individual that special is amazing." -- Lightning captain Steven Stamkos on Nikita Kucherov breaking the record for points by a Russian-born player 

"I thought it was a very, very good regular season. We had a lot of bodies in our lineup throughout the year, we kept growing our game. And now it will be the ultimate test going into the playoffs." -- Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask 

 

Need to know

The Lightning's 128 points are the fourth most in NHL history, passing the 1975-76 Montreal Canadiens (127). The 1976-77 Canadiens hold the record of 132; they were 60-8 with 12 ties playing two fewer games in a regular season that did not have overtime, which was instituted in 1983-84. … Tampa Bay became the second team to earn 30 road wins, joining the 2005-06 Red Wings (31). … Stamkos set an NHL career-high for points with 98 (45 goals, 53 assists). He had 97 (60 goals, 37 assists) in 2011-12. … Bruins forward Charlie Coyle played his 500th NHL game. He played his first 479 for the Minnesota Wild.

 

What's next

Lightning: Host Game 1 of Eastern Conference First Round (TBD)

Bruins: Host the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 1 of Eastern Conference First Round (TBA)

Video: Lightning win 62nd game, tie all-time wins record

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