Nikita Kucherov reaches 80-point mark, Tampa Bay Lightning down Ottawa Senators 4-3
Lightning 4, Senators 3
2:52 AM, Feb 23, 2018
OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) -- Nikita Kucherov had two assists to reach 80 points this season and the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Ottawa Senators 4-3 on Thursday night.
Tyler Johnson, Victor Hedman, Vladislav Namestnikov and Brayden Point scored for the Lightning (41-17-3), who leapfrogged expansion Vegas to regain the top spot in the overall NHL standings with 85 points. Louis Domingue earned his third win by stopping 33 shots.
Kucherov, the NHL's leading scorer, has 32 goals and 48 assists in 61 games.
Ryan Dzingel, Mark Borowiecki and Derick Brassard scored for the Senators (21-29-10), who are 0-2-1 in their last three games. Craig Anderson made 20 saves.
The loss snapped the Senators' five-game winning streak on home ice.
Brassard made it a one-goal game by scoring on the power play with just more than two minutes remaining, but the Senators were unable to complete the comeback.
Ottawa made it 4-2 midway through the third as Borowiecki, with his third of the season, had a wide-open net after catching Domingue out of position. The goal was initially waved off due to goaltender interference, but the Senators challenged and upon review it was ruled a good goal.
The Lightning took a 3-1 lead three minutes into the second as Kucherov fed Namestnikov, who was able to break in alone and beat Anderson.
Ottawa had a number of chances to try and close the gap, but couldn't beat Domingue.
Tampa Bay made it 4-1 with less than a second left in the second period when Point was left all alone in front and scored his 24th of the season.
The Lightning opened the scoring midway through the period as Johnson beat Anderson high from long range. Chris Kunitz got his 600th career point with an assist.
Ottawa tied the game at the 14-minute mark as Dzingel showed off some sweet stick work and tucked a puck in behind Domingue for his 16th of the season.
Less than two minutes later, the Lightning regained the lead as they hemmed the Senators in their own end and Hedman beat Anderson through the legs from in close.
Bobby Ryan returned to the Senators' lineup after missing 10 games with a hand injury.
NOTES: LW Max McCormick and D Fredrik Claesson were healthy scratches for the Senators. ... Tampa Bay D Andrej Sustr and C Cory Conacher were healthy scratches.
Lightning: Saturday night at Montreal.
Senators: Host the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday afternoon.