Stamkos helps Kucherov extend points streak in final seconds
If there looked to be one small casualty as the Lightning pulled out a win Tuesday night at Carolina, it was that Nikita Kucherov, leading the NHL in scoring, still hadn't scored a point, even after two empty-net goals in the final three minutes, and risked the end of a nine-game streak with at least one point to open the season.
With Carolina's goalie back on the ice in the final minute, Kucherov fed a pass to Steven Stamkos, who curled behind the net and fed a pass to Kucherov, who was waiting in front of the net and scored a goal with four seconds left, his 11th on the season. The streak lives on for another game.
"It was nice obviously, especially when you're winning, and great to get Kuch one at the end there to keep it going," said Stamkos, who had extended his own points streak to 10 games with an earlier assist. "The little things like that, sometimes when you get one late, can give you some confidence heading into the next game. By no means, especially our line, I didn't think we played very well tonight, but we'll look to improve as well the next game."
So Stamkos and Kucherov both have points in all 10 games and can match the team record for most games with a point to start a season against Detroit at home on Thursday. The record of 11 was set by Martin St. Louis in 2009.
Kucherov's goal moved him into sole possession of the NHL goals lead with 11, one ahead of Washington's Alex Ovechkin, and Stamkos is now ahead of Kucherov for the overall scoring lead with 20 points, ahead of Kucherov's 17. Stamkos easily has the NHL lead in assists with 17 -- the next closest has 12 -- and for comparison, he had 11 assists in 17 games last year before his injury, but already has 17 in 10 games in 2017-18.