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Quick Strikes: Nikita Kucherov cracks 90 points, does it in yet another multi-point game

And don’t look now, but Steven Stamkos is closing in on the all-time goals list.

NHL: Dallas Stars at Tampa Bay Lightning
Feb 14, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov (86) celebrates as he is named the number one star of the game after defeating the Dallas Stars at Amalie Arena.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Bolts

Nikita Kucherov added himself to more Tampa Bay Lightning record books along with he team’s 6-0 victory over the Dallas Stars. Andrei Vasilevskiy earned himself the shut out and the win. [Raw Charge]

Remember that offensive slump after the All-Star break? Feels like an eternity has passed since then. In their last four games, Tampa Bay has scored 22 goals while only allowing nine. That’s absolutely absurd. Kucherov recorded four points for the second staright game and has 11 in his last three games. That puts him at 92 points on the season and on pace for 130 points.

In case anyone’ curious, here is a game recap as seen from a writer who witnessed their team lost 6-0. [Defending Big D]

Well the game could have certainly started better. Taylor Fedun took a tripping penalty just 2:41 in to put the league’s top power play unit on the ice. The Stars killed off the penalty without too much trouble, but took another penalty three minutes later when Mattias Janmark tripped Steven Stamkos. This time, the Lightning only needed eight seconds before Stamkos got his revenge with an effortless power play goal.

As for the records Kuch broke? Here’s a list:

Not to be forgotten, captain Steven Stamkos is eyeing some Tampa Bay Lightning legends on the all-time franchise players lists and isn’t slowing down. Think he can get all three goes in his next game?

In no universe should the Lightning go after Cody Ceci. He is not a good defenseman, put on a pedestal only because he was “touted” to be a great defenseman. Yet, because there have been a few Lightning scouts in Ottawa, the Bolts and Sens are poised to make a trade. It’s not happening.

Slater Koekkoek is starting fresh with the Chicago Blackhawks and finding success with his new team. Honestly, that’s great to hear from him. We hope he has a long career on the ice and not in the pressbox.

The Prospects

On the 13th, the Syracuse Crunch got shut out by the Belleville Senators in a 3-0 loss. It was their second goal-less game in as many nights. We figured a bubble was going to burst following the winning streak, but yikes. [Raw Charge]

Through the first four games on the trip they have scored a total of seven regulation goals. That’s not great. What’s even worse is that six of them came in one game - a 6-0 win against Hartford last Friday night. In the other three games they’ve only been able to find the back of the net once, a third period goal by Cory Conacher last Wednesday in their 2-1 shoot out win against Rochester. With the back-to-back shutout losses, the Crunch’s scoreless drought is now sitting at 121:20. That’s also not great.

Throwback six years ago to 2013 when the Crunch started their first run to the Calder Cup Finals. Feel old yet?

The Game

Claude Giroux is going to be a dad, and by extension, Gritty is going to be an uncle!

The Lightning once again topped the ESPN Power Rankings list, but there is an angry hoard of four teams somewhat distantly behind them making ground. Nevertheless, they said the H word for Kucherov! That never happens! [ESPN]

Nikita Kucherov has been the leading man all season. With a league-leading 88 points (and seven in his past two games), he could be staring at a Hart (Trophy) in June.

Highlight of the Night: Don’t meet your heroes, unless it’s Mitch Marner, then it’s okay.