Nikita Kucherov turns on
Nikita Kucherov wasted no time getting back on track. The Russian scored a hat trick in the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-1 win over the Sabers on Tuesday in Buffalo.
The Russian, who was playing his sixth game since returning to the game, has brought his total to nine points this season. He hit the target four times.
The visitors also scored five unanswered goals before facing the half-hearted response from the Sabers. Besides Kucherov, Ondrej Palat, Anthony Cirelli and Steven Stamkos were the other scorers for the Florida team.
Meanwhile, Andrei Vasilevskiy was already signing his 20th victory of the campaign by virtue of a 17-save performance. Vinnie Hinostroza was the only one to deceive his vigilance.
Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen started the game in front of the Sabers, but injured his lower body in the first period. He was replaced by Malcolm Subban after giving in twice on nine shots in 20 minutes. In relief, Subban repelled 22 of 26 pucks aimed at him.
The Sabers slide therefore continued. Don Granato’s troops suffered a fifth straight setback.
The Panthers continue their momentum
In Florida, the Panthers shook the strings five times in the first 40 minutes of play to beat the Vancouver Canucks 5-2.
The Florida team has extended its streak of games to six with at least one point.
Aaron Ekblad has once again contributed to the victory of his family, he who is arguably the best season of his career. The defender opened hostilities, just over five minutes after the initial face-off. He also added two assists.
Sam Reinhart imitated his teammate with three points. He scored the second and third successes of his own, in addition to being an accomplice in the success of Aleksander Barkov.
Maxim Mamin was the Panthers’ other scorer, while Jason Dickinson and Juho Lammikko deceived Sergei Bobrovsky’s vigilance. The latter repelled 42 of the 44 shots aimed at him.
Blackhawks win before facing Canadiens
In Columbus, the Chicago Blackhawks, the opponents of the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday, defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-2.
This means that the formation of Illinois can wait for that of the Belle Province, strong of a series of two wins, during a campaign much more difficult than expected. It’s only the second time this season that the Blackhawks have scored at least two straight wins.
In today’s duel, Alex DeBrincat scored two goals, the first of his own and the last, in an empty net. Defensemen Calvin de Haan and Connor Murphy also hit the target for the visitors.
Boone Jenner and Gustav Nyquist ensured the response of the crowd favorites.
Predators don’t lose anymore
Matt Duchene scored his second goal of the game in overtime and the Predators defeated the Colorado Avalanche 5-4 in Nashville.
The Tennessee team have won their last five games, giving themselves a three-point cushion at the head of the Central Section (23-11-2). The Avalanche, who suffered a first setback in six games, is four points behind.
Quebecer Nicolas Aubé-Kubel scored his third goal in two games and his fourth of the season in loss. Samuel Girard for his part collected two assists.