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Quick Strikes: Nikita Kucherov second to Vinny for fastest to 50 points in Lightning history

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And the Arizona Coyotes were trying to trade Michael Leighton the whole time he was there.

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning at St. Louis Blues
Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov (86) shoots and scores during the third period against the St. Louis Blues at Scottrade Center.
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The Bolts

The Tampa Bay Lightning hammered the Ottawa Senators all night, but it took Brayden Point, not Nikita Kucherov’s broken stick, Andrei Vasilevskiy, and Steven Stamkos in the shootout to tke them down. [Raw Charge]

“It took the Lightning a period to get their collective act together, but once they started moving their legs they began to force the Senators into a variety of bad positions.

The second period showcased this the most as Tampa absolutely dominated Ottawa. The small lapses by Tampa Bay in the defensive zone aside, this was a game the Senators had no business being in.”

The Bolts’ top-6 (or 8) forwards are getting the job done, but is the fourth line up to snuff? [Tampa Bay Times]

“The average point production for a fourth liner in the NHL is somewhere around 18-20 points over a 82 game season. Some will have more goals than others, but they typically end up around that mark. Some higher-end fourth liners excel beyond that, but then you could argue that they really should be a third-liner instead of toiling away on the fourth line, like a Brian Boyle.”

Nikita KucHEROv is something else.

Like, seriously!!

There’s no better feeling than coming home from a roadtrip. Your own bed, your friends and family, and a full Amalie Arena filled with amazing fans. That last part might only be something the Lightning players can relate to. [Tampa Bay Times]

"We owe it to them to put our best effort forward," Hedman said. "They support us all around the country it feels like, especially in Vegas…We owe it to our organization to put on a great effort. Obviously, we're facing a team that is desperate, but we can't afford to have any letdowns...”

Bryan Burns had three major takeaways from the win over Ottawa. What did you think of the game? Let me know in the comments! [NHL dot com]

“[Brayden Point] has his moves that he does and they seem to just work for him," Johnson said. "He doesn't really change too much, but they always seem to go in." - Tyler Johnson

Point will soon learn how to harness his Canadian powers and freeze goalies just like big brother Stammer.

The ice crew at Amalie is the absolute best. “Don’t use that language!!”

The Prospects

All four Tampa Bay Lightning prospects got points in Canada’s 9-0 thrashing of the Czech Republic in pre-tournament games. Taylor Raddysh had four points! [Bolt Prospects]

“Taylor Raddysh led the offense with two goals and four points, and Carter Hart (PHI, 2016 2nd round pick) pitched an 18-shot shutout. The Canadians got goals from eight players including Boris Katchouk and Cal Foote, with Brett Howden assisting on Foote’s goal.”

Carter Verhaeghe is really making “hae” in the AHL, with eight points in seven games. (I’m not sorry for the pun).

Hey, former Crunch goaltender Michael Leighton is still wearing his Syracuse mask! In other news, Leighton arrived in Wilkes-Barre and came out firing the quotes. [Times Leader]

“Going to Arizona wasn’t really ideal for me. They had three goaltenders in the minors and two in the NHL. They were looking to trade me the whole time.

“I was kind of sitting around and not playing. I’m happy to get an opportunity here with a great organization.”

Remember the last time there was a gold medal game in Vancouver? Mathieu Joseph wants you to experience the fun too! (Is my Canadian showing? Sorry.)

The Game

Buffalo’s biggest sports group, Pegula Sports and Entertainment have bought the NWHL’s Buffalo Beauts in a huge win for the league. [The Ice Garden]

“This is an absolute triumph for the league just months after a historic partnership between the Metropolitan Riveters and New Jersey Devils was announced. The Beauts, of course, are no strangers to the HarborCenter, which is also owned by the Pegulas.”

The Pittsburgh Penguins’ holiday video is a must-watch. So bad but also so good all at the same time.

GOOD DOG! GOOD DOG!

Despite thinking they’re the (best), the Vegas Golden Knights are no the top team in ESPN’s power rankings. [ESPN]

“It's tough to get noticed when your team boasts the best line in hockey, but 21-year-old center Brayden Point warrants your attention. He's third on the team in points (14 goals, 17 assists) and is often tasked with shutting down opponents' top lines. A future Selke Trophy candidate, perhaps?”

A couple milestones were hit last night in the hockey world.

First, Dustin Brown reached 1000 games for his career. For someone who’s contract almost got himself booted out of the league, this a very impressive feat for the 33-year-old.

He even got the overtime game-winner over the Colorado Avalanche!

Ken Hitchcock is the third head coach history to 800 wins. Congrats to the Dallas Stars top suit! [STL Today]

Ken did not score any overtime goals, unfortunately. (Could you imagine!?)

Highlight of the Night: It appears we are on a goalie binge lately in the QS. Cam Talbot desperately dives across the net to rob Paul Stastny with the paddle.