NHL: Brayden Point tallies twice as Lightning roll past Habs
Brayden Point netted two goals on two shots, Nikita Kucherov reached 50 points in his 33rd game and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the visiting Montreal Canadiens 4-1 on Wednesday night.
On pace for his third 100-point campaign, Kucherov had an assist on Point’s first goal. That helper broke a tie for the NHL lead in assists with the Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, who each have 36.
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Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy made 25 saves to beat Montreal for the 11th straight time in the regular season. Only the Ottawa Senators’ Alec Connell (1925-27) and the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Turk Broda (1939-41) have longer winning streaks against the Canadiens — each with 12.
Vasilevskiy holds a 14-1-2 all-time mark against the Canadiens.
In Tampa Bay’s fifth straight home victory, Alex Killorn and Brandon Hagel tallied while Victor Hedman had two assists. Defenseman Ian Cole played in his 700th career game.
In the fifth game of its season-high, seven-game road trip, Montreal got a goal from defenseman Kaiden Guhle and 34 saves from goalie Jake Allen. Rookie defenseman Justin Barron made his season debut and logged 15:37 of ice time and one shot on goal.
The Canadiens lost their third straight games (0-2-1), and they have only one win in their past seven (1-5-1). They fell to 4-7-2 in December.
Facing the Canadiens for the second time in 12 days after Tampa Bay’s 5-1 win in Montreal, the Lightning struck on their first shot on goal. Hedman got his own rebound off a shot that struck the outside of the near post, then fed Killorn in the low slot for the left winger’s 10th goal at 1:55.
Point found the net late in the Lightning’s first man advantage at 14:09 of the first off assists from Kucherov and Mikhail Sergachev.
With four minutes remaining the second period, Point scored again on a dazzling bit of hard work. He swooped in and stole the puck with four Canadiens around it in the offensive end and flipped a forehander over Allen for his 19th goal of the season.
Hagel found a rebound in front of Allen and potted his 13th goal at 8:31 of the third. Guhle’s long shot hit the net with 2:39 remaining — his second marker — to spoil Vasilevskiy’s bid for his first shutout of the season.
–Field Level Media
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