NHL roundup: Nikita Kucherov’s 100th assist lifts Lightning

By Thomson Reuters Apr 18, 2024 | 1:08 AM

NHL point leader Nikita Kucherov made history by recording his 100th assist of the season as the Tampa Bay Lightning topped the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs 6-4 on Wednesday.

In the regular-season finale for both teams, Kucherov, who has 144 points (44 goals, 100 assists) also scored. He reached the century mark in helpers when he set up Brayden Point’s goal at 17:05 of the second, a marker that lifted Tampa Bay to a 4-1 lead.

Wayne Gretzky (on 11 occasions), Mario Lemieux, Bobby Orr and Connor McDavid are the only other players in NHL history to rack up 100 assists in a single season. McDavid joined that club here in 2023-24.

For the Lightning (45-29-8, 98 points), Nicholas Paul, Anthony Duclair and Brandon Hagel each had a goal and an assist. Tanner Jeannot also scored. Steven Stamkos posted two assists and goaltender Matt Tomkins stopped 34 shots as Tampa Bay finished 25-11-5 at home.

Stars 2, Blues 1 (SO)

Jake Oettinger made 25 saves as Dallas earned a shootout victory over visiting St. Louis to clinch the top Western Conference playoff seed.

Oettinger’s best save came in overtime, when he reached his stick back to stop Robert Thomas’ elevated shot toward the open side of the net. Mason Marchment scored the regulation goal for the Stars, and Jason Robertson netted the shootout winner.

Thomas scored for the Blues, and Jordan Binnington made 36 saves.

Islanders 5, Penguins 4

Simon Holmstrom roofed a shot for the go-ahead goal at 14:27 of the third as New York topped Pittsburgh in Elmont, N.Y.

Holmstrom, Brock Nelson and Samuel Bolduc each had a goal and an assist and Casey Cizikas and Kyle Palmieri also scored for the Islanders, who begin a playoff series Saturday against Carolina. New York goaltender Ilya Sorokin made 40 saves.

Evgeni Malkin had a goal and an assist and Rickard Rakell, Valtteri Puustinen and Jeff Carter also scored for the Penguins. Sorokin made a save on a penalty shot by Sidney Crosby with 30 seconds left.

Coyotes 5, Oilers 2

Dylan Guenther scored once and added an assist to end the Coyotes’ season, and likely the franchise’s time in Arizona, with a victory over Edmonton in Tempe, Ariz.

Liam O’Brien, Matias Maccelli, Lawson Crouse and Sean Durzi also scored for the Coyotes, who are expected to relocate to Salt Lake City. Goaltender Connor Ingram made 28 saves.

Sam Carrick and Warren Foegele had the goals for the Oilers, and goaltender Calvin Pickard stopped 19 shots. The Oilers are 1-2-1 in their past four games.

–Field Level Media