Point has 2 goals, assist in Lightning’s 5-2 win over Blues
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Brayden Point had two goals and an assist, and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the St. Louis Blues 5-2 on Friday night.
Nikita Kucherov had three assists for Tampa Bay, and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 25 saves in his 135th win in his 200th home game. Only Jacques Plante (138) had more in his first 200 home games.
The Lightning also got goals from Alex Killorn, Brandon Hagel and Nick Paul. Kucherov has 21 assists and 31 points this season, reaching 30 points within the first 20 games of a season for the second time.
The Lightning were coming off a 5-3 loss at home against Boston on Monday night.
“I like the way we responded,” Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said.
St. Louis’ Jordan Binnington stopped 22 shots. He entered 5-0 with a 1.94 goals-against average against Tampa Bay. Pavel Buchnevich and Jordan Kyrou both had a goal and an assist, and Robert Thomas collected two assists for the Blues.
Kyrou has three goals and 11 points during a seven-game point streak. Buchnevich and Thomas both have five-game point streaks.
The Blues continued their streaky season with their second straight loss after a seven-game winning streak. They started the season 3-0, and then went on an eight-game skid.
“We know it’s a yo-yo right now,” St. Louis center Ryan O’Reilly said. “The focus for us is letting this one go.”
Point stopped a seven-game goal drought by scoring twice in the opening half of the first period as Tampa Bay took a 3-0 lead. He has four goals in five games against Binnington.
Point and Killorn scored 28 seconds apart. Paul had an empty-netter in the third.
After Kyrou scored at 6:24 of the second, Hagel put Tampa Bay up 4-2 just 18 seconds later.
Tampa Bay’s Corey Perry and St. Louis’ Ivan Barbashev fought 2:18 into the game, the first of two early scrums.
St. Louis defenseman Robert Bortuzzo collided with Vasilevskiy after skating in from the right-wing boards and getting a slight shove from Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev at 5:30 of the first.
Four Tampa Bay players dropped their gloves to go after Bortuzzo.
Bortuzzo was originally given a five-minute goalie interference call, but it was changed to a two-minute minor after a video review.
“Holy cow,” Hagel said. “The fans were on their feet. Guys sticking up for guys, and that just set the tone for the rest of the game.”
Tampa Bay defenseman Cal Foote received a two-minute roughing penalty.
NEARING A MILESTONE
Lightning captain Steven Stamkos extended his point streak to six games with two assists. He moved within five points of becoming the 95th NHL player to reach 1,000 points.
Blues: Bortuzzo (upper body) returned after sitting out eight games.
Lightning: LW Rudolfs Balcers left with an upper-body injury in the first after being checked into the boards. Cooper said he likely will miss at least the next three games. … C Ross Colton (upper body, one game) and Foote (lower body, five games) came back from injuries. … F Pierre-Edouard Bellemare (personal matter) was scratched.
Blues: Play Saturday night at Florida.
Lightning: Start a three-game trip at Buffalo on Monday night.
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