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Quick Strikes: Nikita Kucherov joins Mario Lemieux on historic scoring short list

86 joins 66 as Kucherov scores in the first seven games of the season.

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at Tampa Bay Lightning
ampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman (77) celebrates as he is congratulated by right wing Nikita Kucherov (86), left wing Alex Killorn (17) and center Steven Stamkos (91) as he scores a goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Bolts

Nikita Kucherov scores again, putting his name in the record books with Mario Lemieux, but it wasn’t enough to help the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the New Jersey Devils. Lightning lose 5-4 in the shootout. “Blowing a lead late is always a rough way to lose but one point in the second half of a road back to back with the backup goalie in net is an acceptable result.” [Raw Charge]

How has Dan Girardi fared early on, this season? Let’s look at a game-by-game breakdown of his play. “As we saw in the first two games, Girardi was given top-pair minutes alongside Victor Hedman—Norris candidate and sure-fire top-three defenseman in this league. Luckily, this decision was rectified in games three, four, and five to start the year.” [Raw Charge]

Steven Stamkos has been a silent guardian for the Lightning, allowing Kucherov to shine while he adjusts to game speed. “The 24-year-old Kucherov (seven goals, three assists) has emerged as the team's top offensive player, while Stamkos, 27, is prospering as more of a setup man (one goal, eight assists) than primary scorer through six games.” [NY Daily]

The headline reads: New Jersey Devils Must Be Taken Seriously After Tampa Bay Lightning Win. “The fact that the Devils took the Lightning’s best punch and hit back shows that this team is much different than the one that took the ice last season. The league needs to catch up on that notion.” [Pucks and Pitchforks (Fansided)]

Dear Devils fans, you played the Lightning on the second half of a back-to-back with their back-up in net. That needs to be taken into account here, don’t get too far ahead of yourselves. Your time will come. [Or maybe that Budaj was having an off night. - Acha]

Are the Devils for real? Tweet me or tell us what you think in the comments!

Kucherov’s deceptive shot is the key to his success. “Kucherov has scored in a variety of ways in his record run, seven goals overall. He's incorporated a lost art — the backhand shot — which the Lightning wing had used for two highlight-reel goals last week.” [Tampa Bay Times]

The Prospects

Anthony Cirelli and Mitchell Stephens are leading the Syracuse Crunch off the backs of their hot starts, offensively. “Anthony Cirelli is tied for the team lead with four points (1g, 3a) following a three-point effort in Week 2. Cirelli, a rookie, scored his first professional goal Friday against Belleville, icing the Crunch's win with an empty-netter. It also capped the first multi-point game of his career.” [NHL dot com]

Lightning 2017 6th round defensive prospect Nicklaus Perbix, who is playing in the USHL, had two assists in Omaha’s 5-0 win over Tri-City. “Omaha completed a strong weekend with a 5-0 home win over Adam Wilcox’s former team. They beat Cedar Rapids 5-1 earlier in the weekend. Perbix is up to four assists in four games. Zach Driscoll (uncommitted, undrafted) had a 23-save shutout for the Lancers.” [Bolt Prospects]

The Game

Remember the name. Darcie Lappan will be a womens hockey superstar in a few years. “If people didn't take notice of Darcie Lappan's offensive prowess in her three-point performance in the Kingston Jr. Ice Wolves' 4-1 over the Brampton Canadettes in a Provincial Women's Hockey League game Friday night, there was no hiding it at all on Sunday afternoon. Lappan, a 16-year-old first-year Ice Wolves forward who is in her second year in the league, had the most productive game offensively in franchise history on Sunday, collecting five points -- from two goals and three assists -- to pace Kingston to a 6-3 win over the Aurora Panthers at the Invista Centre.” You heard it here first! [The Whig]

NHL referees are not helping the “Canadians are polite” stereotype very much, eh.

Speaking of polite, this was not.

Highlight of the Night: Nolan Patrick takes a Travis Konecny rebound and feeds Dale Weise in the most disrespectful way. Dear Roberto Luongo, quick, retire before the 2000-born kids start coming into the league and start doing this to you. [Reddit] [Broad Street Hockey]

Nazem Kadri of the Toronto Maple Leafs pulls off some nifty dangles in order to get away (sort of) from Alex Ovechkin before sealing the game with an empty net goal. The Leafs topped the Washington Capitals (in Game 7) by a score of 2-0. [SB Nation]