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When the Tampa Bay Lightning win, Nikita Kucherov scores three goals

Tuesday night, the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 6-3, including three goals and an assist from Nikita Kucherov.

Late in the first period, Kucherov scored on a one-timer from the right circle. At 2:24 of the second, he scored a nearly identical goal during a power play. In the game’s last minute, he also got an empty-net goal.

Lightning coach Jon Cooper said of the player, “He’s a pleasure to watch every night and he’s definitely worth the price of admission.” “He’s a fabulous player. Unique. Elite. I don’t know what else to say about him because I’m running out of words.”

With 80 points, Kucherov took the lead in the NHL, keeping up his competition with Nathan MacKinnon of Colorado for the top spot.

Kucherov is on track to surpass his career high of 41 goals, which he established in 2018–19, with 30 goals already. Cooper explained that as a result of shooting more than ever. His average of 4.2 shots per game is a career high.

Cooper remarked, “When he shoots the puck, it has eyes.” “The fact that he’s shooting more has really helped his game.”

As per ESPN Stats & Information research, it was Kucherov’s first hat trick of the regular season since January 11, 2022, against the Buffalo Sabres. It was also his sixth career in that format. In addition, he overtook Martin St. Louis to take second place in franchise history in power-play points, behind only captain and teammate Steven Stamkos.

Tampa Bay triumphed for the sixth time in seven games behind goals and assists from Brayden Point and Brandon Hagel. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 29 saves, and Michael Eyssimont added another goal. Maxwell Crozier assisted on Point’s goal to earn his first NHL point.

“Leadership has taken a big role in production here and the rest of us are just following their lead,” Eyssimont stated. “When you have leadership like that, it makes our jobs a lot easier. (Kucherov) is incredible. He’s so much fun to watch. A lot of us are a lot better as players because of him.”

Cam York and Jaime Drysdale both scored for Philadelphia, which has lost its last three games. Cam Atkinson scored one and provided one assist.

It was Drysdale’s first goal since he was traded to Anaheim on January 8 in exchange for Cutter Gauthier, one of the Flyers’ best prospects.

According to Philadelphia coach John Tortorella, the game’s difference was the team’s excessive number of power play opportunities. Tampa Bay had a man advantage and was 2 for 3 with them.

“They’re not as deep as they used to be and they rely a lot on their power play,” Tortorella stated. “We took two stupid penalties. … They make you pay. It doesn’t take them much to score on the power play and that hurt us today.”

In his second straight start for Philadelphia, Samuel Ersson recorded 15 saves. With Carter Hart taking an indefinite leave of absence for personal reasons, he is most likely going to be the Flyers’ starting goalie for the foreseeable future.

Tortorella remarked, “Sam’s played very well, I’m totally confident in Sam,”

With 5:56 remaining in the second, Drysdale’s power play goal cut Tampa Bay’s advantage to 3-2. However, with 2:18 left in the frame, Kucherov found Eyssimont in the slot with a deft pass to score on a power play.

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