Kuch-to-Colton leads Lightning’s win

by Gary Shelton on January 16, 2022

in general

Colton scores the winning goal for Bolts./JEFFREY S. KING

Sunday, 4 a.m.

The goal was nice enough, a nifty breakaway that broke a 1-1 tie. Ross Colton, with two opponents close behind, deked to his right, then funneled the puck into the net with 9:23 to play.

Ah, but the pass. The pass was perfect.

Nikita Kucherov, whose comeback is still in its infancy, turned and fired a length-of-the-ice pass to Colton. It was his ninth point in the five games since his return.

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Together, the two enabled the Lightning to pull away to a 3-1 victory over the Dallas Stars. It enabled the Bolts to stay tied with Florida atop the NHL's Atlantic Division.

“He (Kucherov) is just so good at anticipation," defenseman Ryan McDonagh said, "Knowing where everyone is on the ice.  it’s a heads-up play all around, from, knowing there is an opening to executing the pass."

Colton scored his fifth goal on the play.

"I missed my shot, but I got lucky it squeaked under his arm," Colton said.

Brayden Point and Alex Killorn also scored for Tampa Bay. Killorn's goa was an empty netter.

The Lightning's Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 19 of 20 shots for his league-leading 22nd win. He's won 10 games in which he allowed fewer than two goals.

The Lightning's penalty kill has 20 straight successful opportunities.

It was the seventh straight road loss for the Stars.

Tampa Bay now heads on the road to face the L.A. Kings on Tuesday night at 10:30 p.m.

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