Lightning comeback beats Caps in overtime

by Gary Shelton on October 10, 2017 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Lightning

Nikita Kucherov scores in the 3rd to tie the game./STEVEN MUNCIE

Nikita Kucherov scores in the 3rd to tie the game./STEVEN MUNCIE

Tuesday, 3 a.m.

Finally, the NHL has found someone to stand in the way of Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov.

Fortunately for the Lightning, it's teammate Brayden Point.

Kucherov scored to force overtime Monday night, then ripped a one-timer toward the goal 188 seconds into overtime that deflected off of Point for a 4-3 overtime victory against the Washington Capitals.

“The first two games against Florida were tough for us, and I think it’s good

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Brayden Point scored the winning goal./STEVEN MUNCIE

Brayden Point scored the winning goal./STEVEN MUNCIE

to get those first couple games out of the way,” Kucherov said. “What Florida did to us last game I think we did to Washington tonight. I think we played well and it was fun to be a part of it.”

Even without the overtime goal, which would have been Kucherov's fourth in three games, Kucherov is off to a quick start. His goal in the third period let the Bolts overcome deficits of 2-0 and 3-1.

Kucherov (111 career goals) moved into a tie with Brian Bradley for seventh place among the Bolts’ all-time goal scorers.

“The guys made a good play to set me up (on his goal). I just took it wide. Last game I

Vladislav Namestnikov looks for space./STEVEN MUNCIE

Vladislav Namestnikov looks for space./STEVEN MUNCIE

passed it out to Stammer when I should have shot it but this time there was no one behind me so I decided to shoot. It’s just nice to get the feeling of the puck and move the puck well. We had 5 or 6 shots, but it’s good for building confidence on the next shift.”

Lightning coach Jon Cooper liked the looks of the victory.

“The team that deserved to win won the other night and I thought the team that deserved to win tonight won tonight,” Cooper said. “They’ve got a really good team out there. You give them opportunities, they’re going to bury you, but we were a determined group and were feeling ourselves out in the beginning. When we got the first one, there was a weight off our shoulders.”

“I liked the way we’re playing. I liked the way we were attacking the game. The boys needed to get points out of this. It was great that we got two. I really liked our effort, our drive and everything that came with it.”

Forward Chris Kunitz scored his first goal for the Bolts.

Victor Hedman uses teh boards to his advantage./STEVEN MUNCIE

Victor Hedman uses the boards to his advantage./STEVEN MUNCIE

“It definitely feels good to score a goal, but it meant more that the team came back to win the game,” Kunitz said. “It’s a good building block for the team to learn the structure and play the right way to beat good teams in this league.

“We did a lot of good things. We were fast on pucks. We put a lot of pucks on the net. If we would have stayed out of the penalty box, it might have been a different game in regulation but we still have to work on those parts of our game, make sure our penalty kill is better, and work on our special teams to make sure we don’t give up so many.”

Alex Killorn also scored his first goal.

“I’ll give credit to the Florida Panthers,” Killorn said. “They played great against us, but it really was a reality check for us. We had a meeting and there were a lot of things we had to do better, especially against Washington. A lot of us were just kind of passengers in those two games. Tonight it seemed like we were skating a lot more, and it created a lot more opportunities for us.”

Andrei Vasilevskiy made 23 saves on 26 shots to improve to 2-1-0 on the season.

Tampa Bay is home Thursday night against Pittsburgh. The game begins at 7:30 p.m. at Amalie Arena.

Dan Girardi heads off a Caps player../STEVEN MUNCIE

Dan Girardi heads off a Caps player../STEVEN MUNCIE

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