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game recap

Lightning top Senators for 60th win

Become third team in NHL history to reach mark; Gourde scores twice for Tampa Bay

by Callum Fraser / NHL.com Correspondent

Gourde finishes nice passing play

TBL@OTT: Gourde completes tic-tac-toe play

Nikita Kucherov takes Brayden Point's great cross-ice feed and dishes to Yanni Gourde at the doorstep, where he taps the puck into the open net

  • 01:14 •

OTTAWA -- The Tampa Bay Lightning became the third team in NHL history to win 60 games in a season with a 5-2 victory against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on Monday.

The Lightning (60-15-4), who have clinched the Presidents' Trophy, joined the 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens (60-8 with 12 ties) and the 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings (62-13 with seven ties).

"Winning 60, give a ton of credit to those players," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "Just being in the League for a while now and understanding what a grind it is to play 82 [games], just with the schedule and everything, and to win three out of every four and to do it all year long, you've got to give those guys credit."

 

[WATCH: All Lightning vs. Senators highlights]

 

Nikita Kucherov had three assists and is two points away from tying the NHL single-season record by a Russian-born player, set by Alexander Mogilny (127 points for the Buffalo Sabres in 1992-93). Yanni Gourde had two goals and an assist, and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 22 saves.

"They were really good tonight," Cooper said of the line of Kucherov-Brayden Point-Gourde. "Point had the puck on his stick all night long, [Kucherov] was just being [Kucherov], finding everybody all over the place, and [Gourde] was going to the net, doing what he does. They were kind of the engine that got us going, definitely in the second period."

Video: TBL@OTT: Point converts Gourde's backhand pass

Brady Tkachuk and Max Veronneau scored, and Craig Anderson made 21 saves for the Senators (28-45-6), who have already been eliminated from Stanley Cup Playoff contention.

"Tonight, we had a few too many turnovers in the game," Senators coach Marc Crawford said. "I think, the giveaways in the game, we had 17. And that's too many for us, especially against a good team. Good teams don't turn the puck over. They don't turn the puck over in opportune times."

Gourde tapped in a backdoor pass from Kucherov into an open net to give Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead at 12:04 of the first period.

"[Kucherov and Point] are so good," Gourde said. "They're so talented, they see the ice so well, they skate, they work hard. I mean, there's nothing much more you can say about them. They're amazing players."

Tkachuk scored with a wrist shot from the top of the right circle that beat Vasilevskiy five-hole to tie it 1-1 at 18:48.

Mikhail Sergachev's wrist shot from the point got through traffic to make it 2-1 at 7:48 of the second period, and Point finished a backhand pass from Gourde at the edge of the crease to make it 3-1 at 13:43.

Veronneau cut it to 3-2 at 4:34 of the third period with a snap shot that went over Vasilevskiy's shoulder from a sharp angle on the power play.

Gourde scored 48 seconds later on a breakaway to make it 4-2, and Steven Stamkos took a cross-slot pass from Mathieu Joseph and scored with a wrist shot to extend the lead to 5-2 at 16:55.

"They make you pay," Senators defenseman Dylan DeMelo said. "Over there, they don't need a lot of looks. Obviously, a very skilled team that plays hard, and that's why they're top of the League."

Video: TBL@OTT: Gourde rips shot in off Anderson for second

 

They said it

"They were solid tonight. They were very good. They move the puck well, they make some plays at the blue line where I'm like, 'Oh, that's pretty nice.' So it's fun to have them back there. And it's fun to see the depth of this organization. I keep saying that we have a lot of depth in this organization and it's fun to see these guys come up here and show their talent." -- Lightning forward Yanni Gourde on defensemen Jan Rutta and Cameron Gaunce

"He's got a great feel for the power play out there. He's manned our second unit all year long. He knows what he's doing. He's got a great shot from the point as well. I think teams have to respect that." -- Lightning defenseman Braydon Coburn on Mikhail Sergachev 

Video: TBL@OTT: Sergachev rips wrist shot through traffic

"[The Lightning] wait for their chances, they don't get impatient. I thought our patience level was decent for most of the game, and there were also a couple of times where we were served lessons." -- Senators coach Marc Crawford

 

Need to know

Tkachuk's goal was his 21st of the season, passing Alexandre Daigle for the most by a teenager in Senators history.

 

What's next

Lightning: At the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET; TSN2, RDS, SUN, NHL.TV)

Senators: At the New York Rangers on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET; SN, SN1, MSG+, NHL.TV)

Video: Gourde, Lightning top Senators for 60th win of season

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