LOS ANGELES – Nikita Kucherov had a goal and three assists, and Tampa Bay Lightning extended the longest round of NHL points this season to 16 matches with a 6-2 victory against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on Thursday.
Steven Stamkos had a goal and two assists for Lightning (32-7-2), who won the seventh consecutive game to improve 15-0-1 in the last 16 matches. Tampa Bay did not lose in the regulation because he was defeated by Anaheim Ducks 3-1 on Nov. 27.
Lightning leads Toronto Maple Leafs and Calgary Flames with 12 points for the best NHL record, becoming the first ever expansion team to score at least 12 points in the mid-season overall standings.
[CLOCK:[WATCH:[CEAS:[WATCH:All points out Lightning vs. Kings]
"We're in good shape, obviously, and we're having fun with this," the lightning ahead Ryan Callahan said. "The boys enjoy it, we have fun and we go to the gym and we are ready to work, [that] is the biggest thing. Tonight it was not different.
Brayden point and Callahan each had a purpose and a help, Ryan McDonagh and Mathieu Joseph marked, and Andrei Vasilevskiy has made 28 rescue to improve to 7-0-1 from returning from a foot injury.
Video: TBL @ LAK: Callahan moves back and scores
Austin Wagner and Drew Doughty marked, and Jonathan Quick has made 27 shots for Kings (16-23-3), who lost three out of four after a four winning series.
"When you play a team like this you know you have to play well or make you look bad in your skating rink, so our guys were ready because they knew it could happen," said coach Kings, Willie Desjardins.
Kucherov gave Lightning a 1-0 lead to 6:28 in the first period, enrolling for the fifth straight game during a power play of 5 on 3. This was his 400th NHL Kucherov in 406 career games, becoming the first NHL Draft 2011 player to reach the 400-point milestone.
Kucherov has expanded his series to 12 matches. He has 27 points (eight goals, 19 nurses) during his turn, including 15 assists in the last seven matches. It was the seventh consecutive match for Kucherov, who heads the NHL with 69 points.
"He's dangerous every time he's on the ice, and you give our team a 5 to 3 there, at first, somehow you expect Kucher and these guys to put him in the back of the grid," said Joseph . "A great job of him, and he was the best marker of the League and has no reason."
The point made 2-0 at 7:53 in the same advantage with two people. He has 13 points (three goals, 10 assists) during a series of eight game points.
Callahan extended his lead to 3-0 at 14:05 when he intercepted Jake Muzzinpassing into the neutral zone and marked in a separate. Callahan ended a goalless 15-goal drought with his first goal on November 23 against Chicago Blackhawks.
McDonagh scored 25 seconds in the second period to make 4-0 before Wagner cut him to 4-1 at 7:55. Stamkos extended his lead to 5-1 at 17:05 on power play.
Joseph made 6-1 at 10:04 in the third period.
Doughty scored the game at 17:36 for the final 6-2.
Video: TBL @ LAK: Point 1 times the Stamkos for PPG
They said that
"We want to win every night, we only have that belief no matter what happens, it's not easy to win in this league, but when you have the set of qualifiers that we have and then you have the work and the will to make you more well I can go on such stretches. " – Steven Stamkos
Video: TBL @ LAK: Stamkos nets PPG on a single stopwatch
"Looks like it does not matter who's on the ice, they're always dangerous, they're a bit more offensive, but they do, you want to keep them as long as you can and do not do a good job tonight. – Kings ahead Anze Kopitar
I need to know
Kucherov has at least four points in three of the last five matches, joining Mario Lemieux (twice), Jaromir Jagr and Nisse Ekman as the only players to have done so since 1996-97. … Kucherov has at least one point in 22 of the last 23 matches. … Stamkos has 13 points (eight goals, five assists) in the last eight games. … The Lightning scored at least 4 goals in 10 of the last 11 matches (10-0-1). … before Dustin Brown has linked Luc Robitaille to the second-biggest occurrence in Kings history playing in his 1,077 game. Dave Taylor played in a record Kings 1111 games.
Lightning: At San Sharks Sharks Saturday (11 ET, NBCSCA, Sun, NHL.TV)
Director: Edmonton Oilers host Saturday (10 ET, CBC, SN, SN360, CITY, FS-W, NHL.TV)
Video: Kucherov, the power of Stamkos, the lightning of the past, Kings, 6-2