DETROIT (AP) — Nikita Kucherov scored his second goal of the game with 18:13 remaining in the third period, lifting the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 3-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Monday night.
Tyler Johnson also scored for the Lightning, who now have the NHL’s top record after winning their fourth game in a row. Justin Abdelkader and Mike Green scored in the second period to help Detroit erase a 2-0 deficit, but Kucherov broke the tie early in the third with his seventh goal of the season.
Kucherov reached out with one hand on his stick and barely got a piece of a loose puck in front of the net, deflecting it under Jimmy Howard and slowly into the net.
Kucherov had exactly one goal in each of Tampa Bay’s first five games this season, and he added two more Monday. He’s now second in the league in goals, two behind Washington’s Alex Ovechkin.
Johnson opened the scoring with a short-handed goal in the first period, collecting the puck near his own blue line and outskating Trevor Daley the other way before beating Howard. Kucherov scored on a power play 101 seconds later with a wrist shot from the right circle.
Abdelkader’s goal came after some extensive deliberation by the officials. He was hooked from behind by Victor Hedman on a breakaway, but he was able to get a shot off. Andrei Vasilevskiy made the save, and Abdelkader went sliding into him. Detroit’s Darren Helm, who was trailing the play, put the rebound into the net.
After a review, officials took the goal away, ruling that Abdelkader had interfered with the goalie and Hedman was guilty of a hooking penalty. After additional discussion, Abdelkader was given a penalty shot, which he converted.
Green’s tying goal was set up by Tomas Tatar, who started a rush with some impressive stickhandling in his own zone, and then eventually passed to Green, who followed his own shot and scored on the rebound.
Lightning: Visit New Jersey on Tuesday night.
Red Wings: Visit Toronto on Wednesday night.