Steven Stamkos had a goal and three assists and the Tampa Bay Lightning reclaimed the top spot in the Eastern Conference with a 7-3 victory over the Florida Panthers on Wednesday night.
Nikita Kucherov and Ryan McDonagh each had a goal and two assists. Mathieu Joseph, Yanni Gourde, Adam Erne and Dan Giradi also scored, J.T. Miller had three assists, and Louis Domingue made 40 saves.
The Lightning are 11-1-1 at home against Florida since the start of the 2013-14 season.
Panthers left wing Mike Hoffman extended his points streak to 17 games (10 goals, 20 points) with a late third-period power-play goal. He is the fifth player in NHL history to have a points streak of at least 17 games in his first season with a franchise.
Troy Brouwer and Aleksander Barkov also scored for the Panthers. They are 2-3 on a six-game trip. Roberto Luongo was pulled early in the third after allowing six goals on 28 shots.
Tampa Bay went ahead 4-1 early in the second when Gourde scored on an in-close give-and-go with Stamkos at 2:37 before Erne put home a backhander 2:08 later.
Barkov made it 4-2 on the power play with 1:35 remaining in the second.
Stamkos, McDonagh and Girardi had third-period goals. It was Girardi’s first goal in 23 games.
Joseph stole the puck from Alexander Petrovic and scored on a backhander 59 seconds into the game.
After Brouwer scored at 2:19 of the first, Kucherov’s power-play goal put the Lightning up 2-1 with 10:38 left in the period.
Kucherov has two goals and nine points during a four-game point streak.
NOTES: Panthers C Vincent Trocheck had surgery for a fractured right ankle and may play again this season. Trocheck was hurt in Monday night’s game at Ottawa. “He’s bummed out,” Florida coach Bob Boughner said. “The surgery went well. He’ll be back. It’s just a matter of when.” … Former Lightning star Martin St. Louis was honored before game following his induction last week into the Hockey Hall of Fame. “It’s the ultimate honor,” St. Louis said. “I can’t believe I’m part of that group.”
Panthers: At Carolina on Friday night.
Lightning: Host Chicago Friday night.
Source: The Associated Press