Brayden Point scores twice, Nikita Kucherov has 4 assists in Lightning's 4-1 win over Sharks


SAN JOSE, Calif. — Brayden Point scored two goals, Nikita Kucherov had four assists and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the San Jose Sharks 4-1 on Thursday night for their fifth straight win.

The Lightning, in the midst of a five-game road trip, extended their lead for the top wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference to four points over the Red Wings.

Point broke a 1-1 tie with a power-play goal 34 seconds into the third period, scoring on the rebound from point-blank off a shot by Kucherov. It was Point’s 14th goal in his last 15 games. Kucherov – who leads the NHL with 122 points – extended his assist streak to 12 games, the longest in franchise history.

Anthony Duclair, who was traded to the Lightning from the Sharks at the deadline, extended the lead to 3-1 at 6:50 of the third period. Point then added his 40th goal of the season on a spectacular pass from Kucherov, who delivered a no-look feed from behind the goal line while on his knees battling for a loose puck.

Nicholas Paul also scored for Tampa Bay, and William Ecklund had San Jose’s goal.

Andrei Vasilevskiy had 20 saves for the Lightning. Sharks goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood, returning from a three-week absence due to a groin injury, made 17 saves.

The Sharks lost their sixth straight and have just one win in their last 16 games, returning home after a winless five-game road trip. Tampa Bay improved to 9-1-1 in the last 10 meetings with San Jose.

The Lightning scored five minutes into the game, taking advantage of an odd bounce when a pass by Victor Hedman off the back boards caromed straight to Paul in front.

Eklund tied the game minutes later, finishing a two-on-one break after a turnover at center ice.

Duclair returned to San Jose days after being dealt from his former club, scoring his fourth goal in five games with the Lightning for his fourth 20th-goal season of his career.

UP NEXT

Lightning: Visit Los Angeles on Saturday night.

Sharks: Host Chicago on Saturday night.

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AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl



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