Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov produced three-point games Saturday night as the Tampa Bay Lightning handled the visiting Nashville Predators in a 6-2 victory.
The Lightning captain and Kucherov each posted a goal and two assists, with Kucherov finding the net for the fifth straight game.
Victor Hedman had a marker and a helper, and Anthony Cirelli, Ross Colton and Pat Maroon tallied for the Lightning (48-22-8, 104 points). Backup goalie Brian Elliott stopped 19 shots.
By finishing its season-long five-game homestand (4-1-0) triumphantly, Tampa Bay won for the ninth time in the past 11 games (9-2-0) against the Western Conference club.
The Predators (44-29-5, 93 points) got goals from defensemen Roman Josi and Alexandre Carrier. Juuse Saros surrendered all six goals on 30 shots before being replaced early in the third period by David Rittich, who made nine saves.
In their first meeting since the Lightning’s 3-2 win in the Stadium Series match outside in Nashville on Feb. 26, Tampa Bay got into the rematch with an early lead.
With Hedman at the point, the big defenseman blasted home a tally 1:51 into the first period. His 20th goal extended the Swedish blueliner’s career high.
After Mikhail Sergachev’s steal in the neutral zone and pass to Cirelli to start a break, the speedy forward dashed in and wristed his 17th goal at 10:59 for a 2-0 lead.
Josi notched his 21st goal — extending the defenseman’s career-high to 90 points — on Nashville’s second power play, but Kucherov equalized with his 21st in the first period’s closing seconds for a 3-1 lead.
On its fourth power play, another Nashville defenseman found the net when Carrier scored his third goal by finishing a sharp pass from Philip Tomasino at 10:42.
However, Stamkos answered just as Kucherov did to regain the two-goal lead, blistering his 35th from just below the left circle at 13:58.
Early in the third, Colton and Maroon potted goals 31 seconds apart for the only tallies of the frame.
–Field Level Media
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