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NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning Defeat Toronto Maple Leafs 7-3

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(l-r): Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point celebrate a goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena Thursday, October 10, 2019. Photo: NHL.

TORONTO, Canada (FNN SPORTS) – Last night’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs was highly anticipated for a couple of reasons: First, the return of Brayden Point after his double hip surgery, and second, Victor Hedman playing in his 700th game. Both players hit the ice with determination that helped the Bolts carry a different tune.

The electricity of the first line combo for the Lightning set the tone for the night. Stamkos, Point, and Kucherov came out skating fast and hard, really attacking the Maple Leafs’ net. Not even two minutes into the first period, Point scored his first goal of the season, reminding us of his relentlessness in front of opponents’ nets. Moments after Point’s goal, Hedman, who started off paired with Sergachev for the night, hit the penalty box for a cross check call, placing the Maple Leafs player in a power play where A. Johnsson positioned himself to get a goal.

At 7:46 into the first period, the Maple Leafs’ Johnathan Tavares put the Leafs up 2-1 with a tip-in shot. Less than three minutes later, the Bolts responded as Hedman assisted Kucherov with a snap shot goal to tie the game 2-2. Tampa’s new defensive player, Shattenkirk, showed a beautiful read on the Maple Leafs’ defense, skating central up the ice to get an unassisted goal, his third goal already for the season, putting the Lightning up 3-2. Toronto’s Auston Matthews had been skating hard at the Bolts goal the whole first period and finally got a wrist shot in, putting the score at 3-3. Seconds before the period ended, Cirelli found Stamkos for a power play goal, closing the first period with the Bolts in the lead, 4-3.

The second period saw a lot of defense, with both teams playing fast hockey. The Lightning’s defense pairings kept switching up and continued rotating Coburn in, which quickened Tampa’s defensive pace. The Bolts defense allowed the guys to move up and down the ice more and even be more involved offensively. Both defenses were in the zone, but finally the Lightning’s first line combo scored the only goal of the second period. Stamkos fired to Kucherov and Kucherov to Point for a tip-in goal, lighting up the scoreboard for a 5-3 lead.

Another noteworthy Bolts line combo included Palat, Cirelli, and Killorn. Cirelli really knows how to use his body to create space to maneuver the puck. He helped set up his teammates significantly, so much so that 3:56 into the third period, Cirelli got a pass off to Palat, which Palat deflected off a Maple Leafs skate to score a goal.

With the Bolts ahead 6-3, Kucherov lands a holding penalty, putting the Maple Leafs in a power play that they hoped to maximize on, but the Leafs struggled against the Lightning’s defense and Vasilevskiy’s saves. As the power play clock ran out, the Leafs let up enough to allow Kucherov to rush out of the penalty box on to the ice for another goal, sealing the game for Tampa Bay 7-3.

Point showed that he brings a pace to this game that his teammates were excited to match, and the Lightning playing with more structure and faster puck execution made for quite a game. The Lightning look to carry this momentum into their continued road trip Saturday in Ottawa versus the Senators at 4pm ET.

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Kasey Hudson is a Tampa team contributor for Florida National News. | social@floridanationalnews.com

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

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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

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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

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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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