Sergachev’s four points lead Lightning past Capitals
COVER — Mikhail Sergachev had two goals and two assists in the first period for the Tampa Bay Lightning in a 6-3 win against the Washington Capitals at Amalie Arena on Sunday.
Sergachev is the first defenseman to add four points in a later period Morgan Rielly he did it for the Toronto Maple Leafs in a 4-2 win against the Minnesota Wild on October 15, 2019.
“This morning we had a good meeting about what we had to do,” Sergachev said. “Guys showed up and played really well in the first. Power play stepped up, PK stepped up. It was a good night for the most part.”
Nikita Kucherov had a goal and an assist for the Lightning (8-6-1), who had lost their last two games. Andrey Vasilevsky made 19 saves.
“For 57 minutes we didn’t get distracted by anything and played a pretty solid game of hockey,” Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. “A lot more pros than cons, but we still have to make sure we’re cleaning these things up.
Conor Sheary i Lars Eller scored for the Capitals (7-8-2), who defeated the Lightning 5-1 on Friday at Capital One Arena. Darcy Kuemper allowed four goals on nine shots before being replaced by Charlie Lindgrenwho made 24 saves in relief.
“We came out, we weren’t even close to being ready to play,” said Washington assistant Kevin McCarthy, who was training in place of Peter Laviolette (Covid protocol). “It was like trying to catch a moving train out there. They were first on the pucks, they won every puck battle, they won every race for a puck. It was a terrible, terrible 20 minutes.”
Sergachev made it 1-0 at 1:23 with a shot from the right point through traffic. Kucherov then put Tampa Bay up 2-0 at 8:19 with a layup from the left circle on a power play.
Nick Perbix extended the lead to 3-0 at 11:12 when his shot deflected off the skate of a Capitals defenseman. Erik Gustafsson.
Sergachev’s second goal came on the power play at 16:22 to make it 4-0.
“I think that was the worst 20 minutes I’ve seen us play this year,” Eller said. “We were [terrible], in full We acted like we were at the top of the standings and won 10 in a row. You have to bring a completely different attitude, effort, battle, mentality. … They just ran over us.”
Sheary made it 4-1 at 18:04 of the second with a pass from Yevgeny Kuznetsov.
“After the first period we settled down a little bit,” Lindgren said. “Obviously, it wasn’t perfect, but our game was better. That first period was tough to watch, and then I thought we got better.”
Cole Koepke scored his first NHL goal to make it 5-1 at 13:15 of the third. His backhand in front deflected off the post and hit the camera in the back of the net.
“It feels great, it’s something I was looking forward to,” said Koepke, who was playing in his 13th NHL game. “It’s been 12 or 13 games now so you try not to let it frustrate you, but it finally came and it feels great.”
The goal call was delayed and occurred later Brandon Hagel scored at 13:34 in the next shift, but the Situation Room was about to sound the horn after Koepke’s shot was confirmed to have crossed the goal line.
“It was weird, I don’t know how they didn’t see it … the puck went into the middle of the net,” Cooper said. “The refs didn’t see it at first, but the fact that Koepke didn’t celebrate it was a little strange to me. But good for him.”
Eller put the Capitals up 5-2 at 16:59, though Nicholas Paul made it 6-2 when he scored into an empty net at 17:16.
Garnet Hathaway scored from close range 42 seconds later for a 6-3 final.
NOTES: captain lightning Steven Stamkos had two assists, giving him 499 for his career. … Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin he was minus-2 with three shots on goal and five hits in 24:04. He has not scored a goal in the last three games. … Perbix has five points (three goals, two assists) during a four-point streak.
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