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NHL: Lightning Erupt in First Period to Blank Stars, 6-0



The Tampa Bay Lightning proved too much for the Dallas Stars at Amalie Arena Thursday. Photo: Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports.

TAMPA BAY, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos scored two goals and dished an assist to lead the Lightning to its fourth consecutive offensive explosion Thursday evening. The Lightning scored four first period goals, three in a 2:01 span, to sail past the Dallas Stars 6-0 at Amalie Arena in Tampa.

Stamkos got the ball rolling early with the Lightning’s first goal at 8:23 into the first and then he scored his second goal on Tampa Bay’s second power play goal, which gave the Lightning a 6-0 advantage at 16:28 in the second period.

“We started the game and scored on our chances,” said Stamkos, “We get a power-play goal early. For us, when we are on our game, we are creating some offensive-zone time and we’re getting calls.”

He picked up his 31st and 32nd goals of the season while Nikita Kucherov’s three assists sent his total to a league-leading total to 66 on the season as he has piled up 92 points as both lead the NHL.

Tampa Bay has recorded 22 goals in the last four games with 13 different players scoring while the team has been 6-of-12 on the power play after going 1-for-10 in the five previous games.

“The pucks were going in the net for us and we capitalized on our opportunities,” said Tampa Bay Lightning coach John Cooper. “When that happens, you’re really putting a team on its heels. It was, ‘how are we going to handle this?’ We get to the third and we’re playing for our goalie.”

Thursday’s win over Dallas was much of the same with five different players scoring and Stamkos as the only repeater.

Kucherov continued his hot streak with a goal and three assists as he recorded his third three-point game in a row in the first period alone.

Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy was perfect in the net as he stopped all 32 Dallas Stars shots on goal. He tied former Lightning goalie Ben Bishop for the most shut outs all-time in the history of the franchise with 4-0-2 in his last six starts.

“He has been unbelievable for us for the whole season,” said Kucherov, “He’s a top goalie in the league. Especially for him, after the first period we were up 4-0, we just want to make sure we play smart and we don’t give up chances.”

After Stars center Matthias Janmark tripped Stamkos to set up the Tampa Bay Lightning’s second power play of the night at 7:11 in the first period, Stamkos wasted little time setting the tone, scoring off the left side at 7:19 on a pass from Ondrej Palat with Kucherov also assisting.

Some 5:20 later, the deciding power surge shook the Stars’ universe.

Mikhail Sergachev scored his third goal of the season. It was also his third goal in six games as he added the Lightning’s second goal of the period.

Sergachev went top shelf on a slap shot to give the Bolts a 2-0 lead and then immediately off the face off, Stamkos picked up an assist as he passed to Tyler Johnson, who caught Stars goalie Anton Khudobin leaning to his right. Johnson then pushed the puck into the net as he used an angle.

It was Johnson’s 20th goal of the season with Palat assisting on the back-to-back effort.

With that third goal, Stars coach Jim Montgomery pulled Khudobin for rookie goalie Landon Bow.

Kucherov was in no welcoming mood to the new Dallas goalie by following his two assists by smacking the Lightning’s fourth goal of the first period over Bow’s left shoulder to give Tampa Bay a 4-0 advantage at 14:40.

It was Kucherov’s 26th goal of the evening and his fourth in the last three games, set up by Alex Killorn and Anthony Cirelli.

With that quick fourth goal, Khudobin reassumed the crease in the second period.

Killorn contributed his 12th marker of the season after Stars defenseman Jamie Oleksiak failed to secure the puck off Khudobin’s blocker.

The puck went off Oleksiak’s stick and onto Killorn’s waiting blade where he snapped in off the back of Khudobin’s blocker as he put Tampa Bay ahead 5-0 at the 8:23 mark of the second period.

Stamkos added his power play goal 8:05 later in the second when he sent his pass across the ice to Kucherov who returned it to him in the middle. Stamkos then went high on Khudobin for the 6-0 lead.


Ken Cross is a sports contributor for Florida National News. |


Lightning Sign D Mikhail Sergachev, F Anthony Cirelli and D Erik Cernak to Eight-Year Contract Extensions



Photo: NHL.

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed defenseman Mikhail Sergachev, forward Anthony Cirelli and defenseman Erik Cernak each to an eight-year contract extension, vice president and general manager Julien BriseBois announced today.

Sergachev, 24, has skated in 362 career regular season games, 358 of them with the Lightning, notching 36 goals and 174 points. He ranks fifth all-time in Tampa Bay franchise history among defensemen for goals and scoring and fourth for assists (138). The former ninth overall pick (of Montreal) in the 2016 NHL Draft has also played in 92 postseason games and posted eight goals and 30 points. He ranks second in Lightning history among defensemen for playoff games, goals, assists (22) and scoring. Sergachev’s eight-year contract is worth an AAV of $8.5 million.

Cirelli, 24, has skated in 294 career NHL games, all with the Lightning, recording 66 goals and 159 points. During the 2021-22 season, Cirelli posted 17-26—43 points in 76 games played, one point shy of his career high 16-28—44 pts. from the 2019-20 season. He led Tampa Bay forwards for blocked shots (67), ranked sixth in the NHL for penalties drawn (42) and finished fifth in Selke Trophy voting in 2021-22. In postseason play, Cirelli has notched 14 goals and 34 points in 92 games, ranking 11th all-time in Lightning playoff history for scoring. Cirelli’s eight-year contract is worth an AAV of $6.25 million.

Cernak, 25, has skated in 226 career NHL games, all with the Lightning, posting 16 goals, 59 points and a plus-51 rating. During the 2021-22 regular season, the Kosice, Slovakia native notched a goal and 13 points and led the Lightning for hits (165) in 55 games. Cernak has played in 73 career postseason games, recording two goals and 19 points. He netted the Stanley Cup-opening goal in Game 1 of the 2021 Cup Final versus Montreal, becoming the first Tampa Bay player to net his first career playoff goal in a Stanley Cup Final. A second round selection of the Los Angeles Kings (43rd overall) in the 2015 NHL Draft, Cernak was traded to the Lightning on February 26, 2017. Cernak’s eight-year contract is worth an AAV of $5.2 million.

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NHL: Lightning Re-Sign Forward Simon Ryfors to a One-Year, Two-Way Contract



Simon Ryfors had two goals and an assist in the Lightning’s 5-2 win over Nashville in the opening game of the NHL Prospect Showcase Saturday afternoon at Amalie Arena. Photo: Dirk Shadd/Tampa Bay Times.

TAMPA BAY –The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed forward Simon Ryfors to a one-year, two-way contract, vice president and general manager Julien BriseBois announced.

Ryfors, 24, played in 72 games during the regular season for the Syracuse Crunch, Tampa Bay’s American Hockey League affiliate, posting 11 goals and 35 points, ranking tied for seventh on the Crunch for scoring. He also skated in five Calder Cup Playoff games with the Crunch and notched a goal, assist and a plus-four rating.

The Stockholm, Sweden native originally signed with the Lightning organization on May 12, 2021. Prior to that, he skated seven seasons with Rogle BK of the SHL, tallying 41 goals and 93 points to go along with 165 penalty minutes in 250 games. He set career bests in the SHL in 2020-21 for goals (25), assists (20) and points (45).

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Lightning Acquire F Brandon Hagel, Two 4th Round Picks from Chicago



Forward Brandon Hagel. Photo: NHL.

TAMPA BAY, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – Source: Tampa Bay Lightning // The Tampa Bay Lightning have acquired forward Brandon Hagel, Chicago’s fourth-round selection in 2022 and fourth-round pick in 2024 from the Blackhawks in exchange for forwards Taylor Raddysh and Boris Katchouk, Tampa’s first-round selection in 2023 and first-round selection in 2024, vice president and general manager Julien BriseBois announced today. Both first-round picks the Lightning are sending to Chicago are top 10 protected.

Hagel, 23, has played in 55 games so far this season for Chicago, recording 21 goals and 37 points. Hagel ranks second on the Blackhawks for goals and game-winning goals (3) and fourth for scoring and power-play goals (4). In 108 games with Chicago over three seasons, Hagel has posted 30 goals and 61 points. He made his NHL debut March 11, 2020 versus San Jose, the only game he played during the 2019-20 season. Hagel is under contract through the 2023-2024 season with a salary cap number of $1,500,000.

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