That’s an unsettling question for the Bolts to consider, but in the mean time, they got a “gutsy win,” as Keith Jones said after the game. There’s some narrative symmetry to Stamkos scoring a goal to push himself closer to the league’s scoring leaders, only to get hurt … and then Nikita Kucherov rose himself with a huge, late goal.
After starting the scoring on Tuesday, Kucherov generated his second goal of the night (and eighth of 2016-17) to win the game with a little more than a minute remaining in the third period.
You can forgive the Red Wings for being a little thunderstruck by that 4-3 tally.
The Red Wings fought back hard from a 3-1 deficit to tie things up and also seemed to come a post or two away from getting a lead against Ben Bishop. The Lighning survived, however, and ultimately rode that late Kucherov goal to a regulation win.
Tampa Bay now has wins in the first two games of a five-game road trip, a great start for a span that also rounds out to eight road games in 10 appearances stretching back to Monday.
To shake off injuries and manage wins on back-to-back nights? Yeah, that’s some gutsy stuff. Especially considering how nasty this game got, including the Steve Otthit onCedric Paquette and Brayden Coburn shaking off an injury scare of his own.
Now they just need to cross their fingers to avoid the gut-punch that would come from a bad update regarding Stamkos.
Leafs cool Predators on strength of JVR’s hat trick
Both the Toronto Maple Leafs and Nashville Predators came into 2016-17 looking to jump a level or more in the NHL pecking order. Each team’s seen its share of stumbles.
On Tuesday, there was no mistaking who was having the better night, though. That designation goes to the Maple Leafs and James van Riemsdyk‘s line in particular during a 6-2 smashing of the Predators.
JVR generated the second hat trick of his NHL career – and the first he’s ever generated with the Maple Leafs – and also grabbed an assist in a masterful performance. Those four points also constitute a career-high for van Riemsdyk. (You can see his hat trick in the video above this post’s headline.)
Honestly, the most impressive moment may have come from his linemate, as Mitch Marner scored one of his three points (1G, 2A) via this tally:
The Predators came into Tuesday’s game having won three in a row by a combined score of 11-2. They had also generated at least one standings point (4-0-2) in every November game until running into a brick wall against the Maple Leafs.
Even with Pekka Rinne out with a lower-body injury, there must be a “one step forward, two steps back” feeling for the Predators.
Then again, the Maple Leafs have likely felt that way as well early in 2016-17, so perhaps the silver lining of this lopsided loss is that Nashville should keep at it just like Toronto is doing.
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