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game recap

Lightning hold off Avalanche for seventh straight victory

Overcome Landeskog hat trick, four goals in third by Colorado

by Rick Sadowski / Correspondent

DENVER -- Anton Stralman scored two goals and had an assist to help the Tampa Bay Lightning hold off the Colorado Avalanche 6-5 at Pepsi Center on Saturday for their seventh consecutive win.

Gabriel Landeskog had five points, his second NHL hat trick and two assists, for the Avalanche (15-15-2), who had won three of their previous four (3-1-0). Nathan MacKinnon scored twice, and Jonathan Bernier made 25 saves.

Nikita Kucherov, Victor Hedman, Yanni Gourde and Mikhail Sergachev also scored for the Lightning (24-6-2), and Peter Budaj made 32 saves, several in the closing minutes.


[WATCH: All Lightning vs. Avalanche highlights]


"Towards the end I was stopping a couple from getting in and our guys stopped a few blocks and took care of rebounds," Budaj said. "This was a big effort at the end because they were buzzing. They came on strong at the end, put on a lot of pressure."

The Lightning scored four goals in a 4:10 span of the second period to take a 4-0 lead, with goals from Kucherov, Stralman and Hedman coming 2:11 apart.

Trailing 5-1 after Stralman scored his fourth of the season at 2:29 of the third period, the Avalanche closed to 5-4 on goals by Landeskog at 4:58 and on the power play at 7:17, and MacKinnon's power-play goal at 9:22.

"I thought we got lazy," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "And for two periods we didn't give them any ice and for one period we gave them all the ice. And if you're going to give Landeskog and [Mikko] Rantanen and MacKinnon and go down the list of guys all that ice, they're going to do what they did."

Said Landeskog: "We're here to play, we're not going to be pushed around and we're not going to give up on anybody."

Video: TBL@COL: Kucherov, Stralman score 19 seconds apart

Sergachev scored his eighth at 11:32 on a 4-on-4 -- Tampa Bay's third such goal of the game -- to put the Lightning in front 6-4 before MacKinnon answered at 14:14 with his 15th goal to make it 6-5.

"We made a couple too many mistakes," Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. "The 4-on-4 ones stick with me because it was too easy."

Kucherov, Hedman and Gourde each had a goal and an assist in the second period.

Kucherov and Stralman scored 19 seconds apart during a 4-on-4. Hedman fed Kurcherov for a breakaway at 9:11 for his 23rd goal, and Stralman followed at 9:30 for his third goal to make it 2-0.

Kucherov passed to Hedman for his third goal at 11:22, and Gourde made it 4-0 with his 10th at 13:21.

Landeskog started the Colorado comeback by scoring his first of the game and 11th of the season at 14:16, cutting the Tampa Bay lead to 4-1.

"Obviously, we have to do a much better job at closing the game down," Stralman said. "We got to give some credit to them, too. They executed on the penalties we took and they got some life. They were an inch away from tying it up at the end."

Video: TBL@COL: Stralman wires home second goal of the game


Goal of the game

Landeskog completes his hat trick at 7:17 of the third period.

Video: TBL@COL: Landeskog tips in PPG to complete hat trick


Save of the game

Budaj gloves Landeskog's shot with 46 seconds left in the third period.

Video: TBL@COL: Budaj makes glove save to keep Bolts ahead


Highlight of the game

Sergachev's goal at 11:32 of the third period.

Video: TBL@COL: Sergachev gets friendly bounce off skate


They said it

"It's a little disappointing how it ended up. You got to feel for [Peter Budaj] back there. I thought we didn't play responsible in front of him. In the end, we tried to leave it to our goalie to save the game for us, which he did, but it should never come to that." -- Lightning coach Jon Cooper


"We lead 5-1 and things got weird. We took some penalties in the defensive zone to give them momentum and they scored. We fed their game and they capitalized." -- Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman

Video: TBL@COL: Hedman finishes give-and-go with Kucherov


"At the end of the season or end of your career you can sit down and say it was a cool night, but it would have been even better if I put that last one in too. A Grade A scoring chance, the ones you dream about." -- Avalanche forward Gabriel Landeskog on his five-point game

Video: TBL@COL: MacKinnon goes coast to coast for PPG


"We had nothing to lose, we were on the hunt and being the aggressors, and that's what we talked to our team about before the game, that we couldn't give them too much respect, the fact that we had to play our game and part of that is getting aggressive." -- Avalanche coach Jared Bednar 


Need to know

Sergachev became the fourth rookie defenseman in NHL history to score five game-winning goals in a season. The others are Dion Phaneuf of the Calgary Flames (seven in 2005-06), Gord Fraser of the Chicago Black Hawks (five in 1926-27) and Shayne Gostisbehere of the Philadelphia Flyers (five in 2015-16). ... Tampa Bay is 12-1-0 against Western Conference teams. ... MacKinnon has 27 points (11 goals, 16 assists) in 16 home games. ... Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson was assessed a slashing minor, major boarding penalty and game misconduct at 16:57 of the second period for sending Vladislav Namestnikov into the end boards. 


What's next

Lightning: At the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday (10 p.m. ET; SN1, ATTSN-RM, SUN, NHL.TV)

Avalanche: Host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday (9 p.m. ET; ALT, ATTSN-PT, NHL.TV)


Video: Lightning build big lead, hold off Avs for 6-5 win

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