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HomeSportsHockeyNHL News: Nikita Kucherov gets assist No. 100 as Lightning drop Leafs

NHL News: Nikita Kucherov gets assist No. 100 as Lightning drop Leafs

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NHL point leader Nikita Kucherov made history by recording his 100th assist of the season as the Tampa Bay Lightning topped the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs 6-4 on Wednesday.

In the regular-season finale for both teams, Kucherov, who has 144 points (44 goals, 100 assists) also scored. He reached the century mark in helpers when he set up Brayden Point’s goal at 17:05 of the second, a marker that lifted Tampa Bay to a 4-1 lead.

Wayne Gretzky (on 11 occasions), Mario Lemieux, Bobby Orr and Connor McDavid are the only other players in NHL history to rack up 100 assists in a single season. McDavid joined that club here in 2023-24.

For the Lightning (45-29-8, 98 points), Nicholas Paul, Anthony Duclair and Brandon Hagel each had a goal and an assist. Tanner Jeannot also scored.

Steven Stamkos posted two assists and goaltender Matt Tomkins stopped 34 shots as Tampa Bay finished 25-11-5 at home.

Toronto (46-26-10, 102 points) got a goal apiece from Ryan Reaves, TJ Brodie, Pontus Holmberg and John Tavares, plus two assists from both David Kampf and Connor Dewar. Martin Jones made 26 saves, but the Leafs lost their fourth straight (0-3-1).

NHL goal leader Auston Matthews failed to reach the 70-goal plateau, finishing his incredible season with 69, as the Leafs ended 24-11-6 on the road.

Matthews registered a game-high 12 shots.

With the focus on Matthews and Kucherov, Duclair made the first fine play of the night when he saucered a diagonal pass to Paul, who chipped in his 24th tally of the season at 3:58 of the first period.

Kucherov got in on the action at 6:14 when he gathered his own rebound and popped in goal No. 44 past Jones for a 2-0 lead.

But the physical Reaves ripped a one-timer from above the right circle at 13:18, only the fourth time the winger has hit the back of the net this season.

Duclair scored his 24th marker at 6:37 of the second before Kucherov made history by feeding Point.

Hagel pushed the margin to 5-1 with his 26th tally at 17:57.

In the third, Jeannot, Brodie , Holmberg and Tavares all scored.

–Field Level Media

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