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game recap

Lightning score four in first in win against Kings

Kucherov gets goal, two assists to help Tampa Bay hand Los Angeles first regulation loss at home

by Dan Greenspan / NHL.com Correspondent

LOS ANGELES -- Nikita Kucherov scored his 16th goal, the first of four first-period goals in a span of 2:02, and the Tampa Bay Lightning won their fifth straight road game, 5-2 against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on Thursday.

Alex Killorn, Victor Hedman and Steven Stamkos also scored, and the Lightning (13-2-2) won for the eighth time in 10 games (8-1-1). Vladislav Namestnikov scored his third goal in two games, and Peter Budaj made 22 saves in his first win for Tampa Bay.

 

[WATCH: All Lightning vs. Kings highlights]

 

"I can't remember the last time we came in here and played this well against these two teams back-to-back," Killorn said of the wins against the San Jose Sharks and Kings. "There's a ton of confidence in this room. We realize our top guys are doing really well and they help feed our whole team. Power play is going well. Everything seems to be clicking right now."

Video: TBL@LAK: Lightning score four goals in 2:02

Tyler Toffoli scored his eighth goal, and Jonathan Quick stopped 38 shots for the Kings (11-3-2), who lost at home in regulation for the first time (5-1-2). Oscar Fantenberg scored his first career NHL goal in the third period.

Making his first start against the Kings after playing in 53 games for them last season, Budaj made a blocker save on Anze Kopitar's one-timer at 9:11 of the first period that Lightning coach Jon Cooper said changed the game.

"I thought for sure it was in. I think everyone in the building thought it was in," Hedman said.

The stop led to a Kucherov breakaway, where he took a pass from Stamkos and scored on a backhand at 9:27 for his third straight game with a goal.

Killorn scored 34 seconds later to make it 2-0. Hedman scored on a wrist shot after being left alone during a 4-on-3 rush at 10:35 for a 3-0 lead.

The Kings challenged that Brayden Point was offside, but the play stood after a lengthy review and Los Angeles was assessed a delay-of-game penalty. Stamkos then scored his sixth power-play goal at 11:29 for a 4-0 lead off Killorn's backhand pass to set up the one-timer.

"The wheels kind of came off for a little bit there," Kopitar said. "Against a team like that, you know you can't outscore them because they have a lot of firepower."

Toffoli weaved through four defenders and scored at 17:31 of the second period to make it 4-1. Kopitar scored with 47 seconds left but the goal was overturned when the Lightning successfully challenged for goalie interference.

Video: TBL@LAK: Toffoli puts Kings on the board

Fantenberg's goal made it 4-2 at 8:39 of the third.

Namestnikov gave the Lightning a 5-2 lead at 12:59 of the third, marking the third time this season the top line of Namestnikov, Stamkos and Kucherov scored in the same game.

Kucherov had an assist on the goals by Stamkos and Namestnikov, giving him at least a goal and assist for the 10th time in Tampa Bay's 17 games.

"I do think they're the best team in the league," Kings coach John Stevens said. "They're a different animal and we have some work to do."

Video: TBL@LAK: Namestnikov fires loose puck in off post

 

Goal of the game

Kucherov's breakaway at 9:27 of the first period.

Video: TBL@LAK: Kucherov scores beauty on a breakaway

 

Save of the game

Budaj's save on Kopitar's one-timer at 9:11 of the first period.

Video: TBL@LAK: Budaj denies Kopitar with incredible save

 

Highlight of the game

Killorn's backhand pass to set up Stamkos' goal at 11:29 of the first period.

Video: TBL@LAK: Stamkos nets Killorn's feed for PPG

 

They said it

"It reminds me of the team we had in the [Stanley Cup] Final year [in 2014-15]. We have a lot of similarities and we're playing fast. We play with a lot of toughness and a lot of fun and are fun to watch." -- Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov

 

"You can't run-and-gun, especially not with a team like that." -- Kings captain Anze Kopitar

 

Need to know

The Lightning have scored at least four goals in 11 games (9-1-1). … Kopitar had an assist to extend his point streak to seven games (two goals, seven assists). … Kings center Adrian Kempe (illness) was a late scratch. Rookie Michael Amadio took Kempe's spot on the second line with Tanner Pearson and Toffoli.

 

What's next

Lightning: At the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday (8 p.m. ET; SUN, PRIME, NHL.TV)

Kings: Host the San Jose Sharks on Sunday (10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSCA, FS-W, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Lightning ride four-goal 1st period to 5-2 win

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