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Stamkos, Kucherov each extend streak in Lightning win

Center has two assists, right wing scores against Hurricanes for point in 10th straight game

by Kurt Dusterberg / NHL.com Correspondent

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov each extended his point streak to 10 games for the Tampa Bay Lightning in a 5-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena on Tuesday. 

"We didn't play very well in the third [period]," Stamkos said. "You can't sit back as much as we did. Give them credit, we knew they were going to make a push. [Andrei Vasilevskiy] made some big saves like he always does, and we hung on for one. It's not pretty every night, but the good news is we got the win."

Stamkos had two assists, and leads the NHL with 20 points (three goals, 17 assists) this season. Kucherov scored his League-leading 11th goal with four seconds remaining, and is second behind Stamkos with 17 points. 

Vasilevskiy made 31 saves for his seventh straight win. The Lightning (8-1-1) have points in eight straight games.

 

[WATCH: All Lightning vs. Hurricanes highlights]

 

Scott Darling made 24 saves and Jaccob Slavin scored for Carolina (3-3-1).

The Lightning took a 1-0 lead on a power-play goal by Tyler Johnson at 19:25 of the first period. After Darling stopped Ondrej Palat cutting to the net below the right circle, Johnson found the rebound in the crease for his fourth goal with five seconds remaining on the man-advantage.

Tampa Bay extended the lead to 2-0 on Mikhail Sergachev's fourth goal of the season at 9:13 of the second. After Darling stopped Alex Killorn's backhand, Johnson passed to Stamkos, who set up Sergachev for a low shot from the top of the right circle.

Video: TBL@CAR: Vasilevskiy stops Ryan at point-blank range

Tampa Bay limited Carolina's scoring chances with 14 blocked shots through two periods. The Lightning finished with 22. 

"Our guys have done a huge job in front of me blocking lots of shots," said Vasilevskiy, who improved to 4-0-0 against the Hurricanes. "It's much easier for me. We were shaky a little bit in the third, but the guys tried to stay and block the shots. I think they did a good job in the blue paint also."

Slavin cut Tampa Bay's lead to 2-1 with a wrist shot at 3:28 of the third period. The Hurricanes pressured Vasilevskiy with a flurry of shots in front of the net before Brett Pesce found Slavin in the high slot.

Vladislav Namestnikov scored into an empty net to make it 3-1 at 17:27, and Ryan Callahan scored another empty-net goal at 18:39 to give the Lightning a 4-1 lead.

Kucherov beat Darling to make it 5-1. 

"It's great to get Kucherov one at the end there to keep it going," Stamkos said. "Little things like that, sometimes when you don't have a good game, you get one late and it can it give you some confidence heading into the next game."

Video: TBL@CAR: Slavin scores from point after wild scramble

 

Goal of the game

Johnson made a blind backhand pass to Stamkos, who kicked the puck from his skate to his stick before passing to Sergachev for the game-winning goal.

Video: TBL@CAR: Sergachev deposits Stamkos' feed by Darling

 

Save of the game

After stopping Jeff Skinner's shot, Vasilevskiy fended off Justin Williams, who tried to jam the puck past the Lightning goaltender's right pad in the crease with 4:20 remaining in the game.

 

Highlight of the game

Stamkos circled the net and made an easy set-up pass to Kucherov to keep the right wing's point streak alive. Kucherov has scored in 9 of 10 games this season.

Video: TBL@CAR: Kucherov nets Stamkos' feed in final seconds

 

They said it

"To be honest, we had a really disappointing third period. We had that game in complete control after the second period. We weren't really giving them much. We just came out in the third and gave it to our goaltender and said, 'Win this one for us.'" -- Lightning coach Jon Cooper 

 

"Obviously, we didn't play well enough to win. We can definitely have a better killer instinct for putting the puck in the net. They capitalized on a few mistakes and made us pay pretty quick." -- Hurricanes forward Jordan Staal

 

Need to know

Martin St. Louis holds the Tampa Bay record for longest point streak to open a season at 11 games in 2009-10 (three goals, 12 assists). Stamkos eclipsed his own Lightning record for most points scored through the first 10 games (19 in 2010). … The Hurricanes went 0-for-4 on the power play with three shots. Elias Lindholm played in his 300th NHL game.

 

What's next

Lightning: Host the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday (7:30 p.m. ET; SUN, FS-D, NHL.TV)

Hurricanes: At the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; SNO, FS-CR, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Sergachev, Kucherov score again in win vs. Canes

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