NHL: NHL roundup: Nikita Kucherov, Lightning push Panthers to brink
Nikita Kucherov had a goal and three assists to help the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the visiting Florida Panthers 5-1 in Game 3 of their second-round playoff series on Sunday and move within one win of advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals for a third straight season.
Steven Stamkos scored two goals for Tampa Bay, and Corey Perry and Erik Cernak also scored. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 34 saves for the Lightning, the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions who will bring a 3-0 lead into Game 4 on Monday night in Tampa.
Vasilevskiy held the Toronto Maple Leafs to one goal in a 2-1 victory in Game 7 of their first-round series, and he has limited the Panthers to one goal in each of the first three games of this series.
Sam Reinhart scored Sunday, and Sergei Bobrovsky made 31 saves for Florida, which had the best record in the NHL during the regular season.
Oilers 4, Flames 1
Evander Kane collected a natural hat trick while Leon Draisaitl set an NHL record with four assists in a period as host Edmonton defeated Calgary to pull ahead in their Western Conference second-round playoff series.
Connor McDavid collected three assists and Zach Hyman scored once for the Oilers, who lead 2-1 in the best-of-seven series. Game 4 will be Tuesday night in Edmonton. Oliver Kylington replied for the Flames, while goalie Jacob Markstrom stopped 30 of 34 shots before giving way to Dan Vladar for the third period.
Oilers goaltender Mike Smith stopped 32 shots and was working on a shutout but was pulled due to concussion protocol after Calgary’s Milan Lucic drove into him midway through the third period. Smith returned after missing four-plus minutes. Lucic received a major penalty and game misconduct.
Rangers 3, Hurricanes 1
Igor Shesterkin made 43 saves and New York held on to beat visiting Carolina in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference second-round series.
Mika Zibanejad scored a power-play goal in the first period and set up Chris Kreider’s 30th career playoff goal in the second period as the Rangers cut the Hurricanes’ series advantage to 2-1. Tyler Motte added an empty-net goal with 83 seconds remaining.
Nino Niederreiter scored in the second for Carolina, which is 0-4 on the road in this year’s postseason. Antti Raanta made 30 saves. Game 4 will be Tuesday, also in New York.
–Field Level Media