Kucherov finishes with 4 points, Lightning beat Leafs 7-3

TORONTO (AP) Steven Stamkos was in a much better mood after the Tampa Bay's latest effort and an 11-point night from the Lightning's top line.

Nikita Kucherov scored twice and finished with four points, Brayden Point had two goals and an assist in his season debut and the Lightning beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 7-3 on Thursday night.

Stamkos added a goal and three assists and Ondrej Palat also scored for Tampa Bay.

Anthony Cirelli had three assists and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 25 saves as the Lightning snapped a two-game slide.

Auston Matthews had a goal and an assist, and John Tavares and Andreas Johnsson also scored for Toronto.

''We just didn't execute at a very high level,'' Tavares said. ''That kind of effort isn't going to win us many hockey games.''

Frederik Andersen allowed seven goals on 28 shots before being replaced by Michael Hutchinson seven minutes into the third period. Hutchinson had five saves.

The teams combined for seven goals and 27 shots in a wild opening 20 minutes, but the Lightning took charge from there.

''After that crazy first period we really settled down and we defended really well,'' Stamkos said. ''If we can play like we did tonight, you can see what happened.''

Tampa Bay's top line of Point, Stamkos and Kucherov - which had 318 points last season - finished with 11 points Thursday in their first action together this season.

''We can shut really elite teams down by skating and competing,'' Stamkos said. ''Those are the two things we talked about.

''It was a great response.''

The Lightning were coming off a 4-3 overtime loss at Carolina on Sunday. In that game, the Hurricanes built a 44-13 advantage in shots.

Following a wild first period that saw a combined seven goals, 27 total shots and a 4-3 lead for the Lightning, the Leafs pushed back in the second.

But Point - who missed a chunk of training camp before signing a three-year, $20.25 million contract as a restricted free agent and then sat out the Lightning's first three games following offseason hip surgery - scored his second goal of the game.

Stamkos left a pass for Kucherov, who saw his quick shot deflected home by Point at the lip of the crease at 10:46 to put Tampa up by two.

Vasilevskiy, who allowed three goals on 13 shots in the first, made a nice save on Trevor Moore later in the second before stopping a tip by Matthews.

Moments after Matthews saw a good chance blocked by Victor Hedman early in the third, Tampa put the game out of reach at 3:58, when Palat's centering pass glanced off Leafs winger Kasperi Kapanen and past a surprised Andersen for his second.

Kucherov added his second of the game after stepping out of the penalty box at 6:57, when Andersen gave the puck away to Stamkos, who fed his linemate down low. He beat the Toronto netminder between the pads to make it 7-3.

That was it for Andersen, who was pulled for Hutchinson.

Tampa Bay, which tied an NHL record with 62 wins last season, got off to a fast start in the first.

Point got things started at 2:28 on his second shift of the season. He pounced on a rebound that Andersen couldn't control.

Toronto responded at 4:19, when Johnsson took a pass off the rush from Matthews on a power play and beat Vasilevskiy for his first.

Toronto then went up 2-1 at 7:46 when Tavares snapped a two-game point drought with a deflection.

But the Lightning responded on a man advantage of their own when Kucherov took a quick pass from Hedman and scored past Andersen for his second at 11:24.

Shattenkirk made it 3-2 1:21 later, moving past Morgan Rielly and firing a backhand home for his third.

Mikael Sergachev hit the post behind Andersen on shot that nearly put the Lightning up by two. Moments later, Matthews responded with his sixth after Vasilevskiy coughed up a rebound at 17:56.

Stamkos restored Tampa Bay's lead with 42.7 seconds left in the period when he snapped his third past Andersen for a 4-3 lead.

''Disappointing,'' Leafs head coach Mike Babcock said. ''We didn't play right ... it wasn't a very good night for us.''

NOTES: Point's assist on the Lightning's fourth goal was the 200th point of his career. ... Toronto visits the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday, while Tampa visits Ottawa. ... Attendance was 19,387. ... Hedman played in his 700th NHL game.

UP NEXT

Lightning: At Ottawa on Saturday.

Maple Leafs: At Detroit on Saturday.

---

More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Copyright 2019 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

123T
4127
TOR2-2
3003
STARS OF THE GAME
SKATERSGA+/-SOGFW/FLPIMTOIHITS
E. Cernak D00030/0018:465
A. Cirelli C03027/10017:081
B. Coburn D00320/0015:052
Y. Gourde RW00106/2012:191
V. Hedman D01010/0223:502
T. Johnson LW01152/1013:521
M. Joseph RW00100/0012:170
A. Killorn LW00010/0015:281
N. Kucherov RW22320/0220:230
P. Maroon LW00000/0013:571
R. McDonagh D00010/0019:552
O. Palat LW10120/0014:334
B. Point C21255/8019:191
M. Sergachev D01110/0019:591
K. Shattenkirk D10210/0018:470
S. Stamkos C13241/2020:050
C. Verhaeghe C00-113/7011:210
L. Witkowski D00-120/0010:103
SKATERSGA+/-SOGFW/FLPIMTOIHITS
T. Barrie D00-430/0019:371
C. Ceci D00-110/0020:521
F. Gauthier C00-106/3010:392
J. Holl D01230/0015:280
A. Johnsson LW10010/0017:270
K. Kapanen RW01-200/0215:562
A. Kerfoot RW00-112/3015:301
M. Marner RW01-110/1020:471
A. Matthews C11064/3018:020
I. Mikheyev LW00000/1016:271
T. Moore RW00021/0012:102
J. Muzzin D01-120/0024:023
W. Nylander RW01-115/4015:460
N. Petan RW00-110/0208:500
M. Rielly D00-220/0022:570
R. Sandin D00010/0013:511
J. Spezza C00-105/4210:240
J. Tavares C10-137/5016:590
GOALIESSAGASVSV%TOI
A. Vasilevskiy (W)2832559:43
GOALIESSA
A. Vasilevskiy (W)28
GOALIESSAGASVSV%TOI
F. Andersen (L)2872146:41
M. Hutchinson 50513:03
GOALIESSA
F. Andersen (L)28
M. Hutchinson 5
Jake Muzzin shot on goal (Wrist shot)
LEGEND:GoalsShotsGoalsShots
Full Play By Play
GOALS
  • 3RD PERIOD
    • TB
      06:57GOAL Nikita Kucherov (Wrist shot), Assist: Steven Stamkos
    • TB
      03:56GOAL Ondrej Palat , Assists: Anthony Cirelli and Mikhail Sergachev
  • 2ND PERIOD
    • TB
      10:46GOAL Brayden Point (Tip-in shot), Assists: Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos
  • 1ST PERIOD
    • TB
      19:17(PP) GOAL Steven Stamkos (Snap shot), Assists: Anthony Cirelli and Brayden Point
    • TOR
      17:56GOAL Auston Matthews (Wrist shot), Assists: Jake Muzzin and William Nylander
    • TB
      12:45GOAL Kevin Shattenkirk (Backhand shot), Assist: Tyler Johnson
    • TB
      11:24(PP) GOAL Nikita Kucherov (Snap shot), Assists: Victor Hedman and Anthony Cirelli
    • TOR
      07:46GOAL John Tavares (Tip-in shot), Assists: Justin Holl and Kasperi Kapanen
    • TOR
      04:19(PP) GOAL Andreas Johnsson (Snap shot), Assists: Auston Matthews and Mitchell Marner
    • TB
      02:28GOAL Brayden Point (Wrist shot), Assists: Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov
PENALTIES
  • 3RD PERIOD
    • TB
      04:46Nikita Kucherov penalty Hooking - 2 min.
    • 1ST PERIOD
      • TOR
        18:27Nic Petan penalty Holding - 2 min.
      • TOR
        13:23Kasperi Kapanen penalty Interference - 2 min.
      • TOR
        09:42Jason Spezza penalty Slashing - 2 min.
      • TB
        03:16Victor Hedman penalty Cross Checking - 2 min.
    TEAM STATS
    TB
    TOR
    Shots on Goal3328
    Goals in Power Play21
    Faceoff Wins2430
    Penalties23
    Major Penalties00
    Minor Penalties23
    Misconducts00
    TEAM STATS
    TB
    Shots on Goal33
    Goals in Power Play2
    Faceoff Wins24
    Penalties2
    Major Penalties0
    Minor Penalties2
    Misconducts0
    123T
    4127
    TOR2-2
    3003
    STARS OF THE GAME
    SKATERSGA+/-SOGFW/FLPIMTOIHITS
    E. Cernak D00030/0018:465
    A. Cirelli C03027/10017:081
    B. Coburn D00320/0015:052
    Y. Gourde RW00106/2012:191
    V. Hedman D01010/0223:502
    T. Johnson LW01152/1013:521
    M. Joseph RW00100/0012:170
    A. Killorn LW00010/0015:281
    N. Kucherov RW22320/0220:230
    P. Maroon LW00000/0013:571
    R. McDonagh D00010/0019:552
    O. Palat LW10120/0014:334
    B. Point C21255/8019:191
    M. Sergachev D01110/0019:591
    K. Shattenkirk D10210/0018:470
    S. Stamkos C13241/2020:050
    C. Verhaeghe C00-113/7011:210
    L. Witkowski D00-120/0010:103
    SKATERSGA+/-SOGFW/FLPIMTOIHITS
    T. Barrie D00-430/0019:371
    C. Ceci D00-110/0020:521
    F. Gauthier C00-106/3010:392
    J. Holl D01230/0015:280
    A. Johnsson LW10010/0017:270
    K. Kapanen RW01-200/0215:562
    A. Kerfoot RW00-112/3015:301
    M. Marner RW01-110/1020:471
    A. Matthews C11064/3018:020
    I. Mikheyev LW00000/1016:271
    T. Moore RW00021/0012:102
    J. Muzzin D01-120/0024:023
    W. Nylander RW01-115/4015:460
    N. Petan RW00-110/0208:500
    M. Rielly D00-220/0022:570
    R. Sandin D00010/0013:511
    J. Spezza C00-105/4210:240
    J. Tavares C10-137/5016:590
    GOALIESSAGASVSV%TOI
    A. Vasilevskiy (W)2832559:43
    GOALIESSA
    A. Vasilevskiy (W)28
    GOALIESSAGASVSV%TOI
    F. Andersen (L)2872146:41
    M. Hutchinson 50513:03
    GOALIESSA
    F. Andersen (L)28
    M. Hutchinson 5
    STARS OF THE GAME
    123T
    4127
    TOR2-2
    3003
    SKATERSGA+/-SOGFW/FLPIMTOIHITS
    E. Cernak D00030/0018:465
    A. Cirelli C03027/10017:081
    B. Coburn D00320/0015:052
    Y. Gourde RW00106/2012:191
    V. Hedman D01010/0223:502
    T. Johnson LW01152/1013:521
    M. Joseph RW00100/0012:170
    A. Killorn LW00010/0015:281
    N. Kucherov RW22320/0220:230
    P. Maroon LW00000/0013:571
    R. McDonagh D00010/0019:552
    O. Palat LW10120/0014:334
    B. Point C21255/8019:191
    M. Sergachev D01110/0019:591
    K. Shattenkirk D10210/0018:470
    S. Stamkos C13241/2020:050
    C. Verhaeghe C00-113/7011:210
    L. Witkowski D00-120/0010:103
    Total71203324/304-25
    SKATERSGA+/-SOGFW/FLPIMTOIHITS
    T. Barrie D00-430/0019:371
    C. Ceci D00-110/0020:521
    F. Gauthier C00-106/3010:392
    J. Holl D01230/0015:280
    A. Johnsson LW10010/0017:270
    K. Kapanen RW01-200/0215:562
    A. Kerfoot RW00-112/3015:301
    M. Marner RW01-110/1020:471
    A. Matthews C11064/3018:020
    I. Mikheyev LW00000/1016:271
    T. Moore RW00021/0012:102
    J. Muzzin D01-120/0024:023
    W. Nylander RW01-115/4015:460
    N. Petan RW00-110/0208:500
    M. Rielly D00-220/0022:570
    R. Sandin D00010/0013:511
    J. Spezza C00-105/4210:240
    J. Tavares C10-137/5016:590
    Total3602830/246-15
    GOALIESSAGASVSV%TOI
    A. Vasilevskiy (W)2832559:43
    GOALIESSA
    A. Vasilevskiy (W)28
    GOALIESSAGASVSV%TOI
    F. Andersen (L)2872146:41
    M. Hutchinson 50513:03
    GOALIESSA
    F. Andersen (L)28
    M. Hutchinson 5
    GOALS
    • 3RD PERIOD
    • 2ND PERIOD
    • 1ST PERIOD
    PENALTIES
    • 3RD PERIOD
      • 1ST PERIOD
      • 3RD PERIOD
      • 2ND PERIOD
      • 1ST PERIOD

      123T
      4127
      TOR2-2
      3003
      All times are US/Eastern.