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Stamkos, Power Play Key in Lightning Win Over Bruins

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Photo: NHL.

TAMPA BAY, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – The Tampa Bay Lightning won for the third time in their last four games and center Steven Stamkos continued his hot streak as the Lightning took down the Boston Bruins, 3-2, at Amalie Arena in Tampa on Thursday evening.

Stamkos has been playing at a torrid pace, scoring 6 goals in the Lightning’s last 4 games, and he was ever-present on the power play with his third power play goal of those last 6 at 12:35 in the second period.

“We are still a team that wants to make plays, so it’s just knowing when the defenseman is gapped and he isn’t,” Stamkos noted. “Our tendency–sometimes when things aren’t going well–is to want to go make plays at their blue line and then that leads to a turnover and transition. It’s making the proper reads and we have been doing that lately.”

Nikita Kucherov made the proper read in feeding Stamkos for the tying goal late in the second period.

After Boston defenseman John Moore took a tripping penalty at 12:29, Kucherov coralled the puck off the face off and found Stamkos propped up in the middle of the ice. Stamkos pushed the puck past Bruins goalie Tukka Rask to tie the game at 1-1.

“Guys who are used to getting points, they want to get them,” Lightning coach John Cooper commented. “Of late, we have had to make the effort to keep pucks out of the net. When you keep your discipline in your game, good things can happen. The guys really understand that and we have to protect. If we can get over 3 and keep teams under 3, we might get some of these.”

The power play returned in the third period as Victor Hedman fired a blast from between the circles that was just wide of Rask on the right side of the net. Kucherov once again gathered the puck and hit center Brayden Point on the right side and with a back-handed pass. Point slid it past Rask for a 2-1 lead at 4:07.

“I think we have committed ourselves to getting the puck in and getting it back with the aggressiveness of our forecheck while using our speed,” Stamkos said. “The skill set takes over. It’s not the pass, pass, pass.”

Stamkos wasn’t through with his production. He caught the Bruins defenseman too high in their own zone and was able to gather the puck in the high slot. He snapped a wrist shot off Rask’s shoulder for his second goal of the night at 15:13 to give the Lightning a 3-1 advantage.

“To get two power plays and to not give any up, and especially to take only 2 penalties–that’s what we have to do to compete with the big boys in the East,” Cooper said.

Despite a first period which was played on the Bruins’ end of the ice, Boston led 1-0 after 20 minutes on a Patrice Burgeron goal at 4:26.

“It was tough because I thought we really controlled a lot of the first period and to be down right away like we were, our guys grinded and stuck with it,” explained Cooper. “The Bruins are a deep team. Special teams are big and you have to win those.”

Stamkos’s two-goal evening was his second multiple-goal game of the season and the 75th of his career as he paces the Lightning with 13 goals and 7 power play goals.

Kucherov recorded 2 assists as it ended a 3-game drought without a point.

Tampa Bay outshot Boston 31-29, while the Bruins had 13 penalty minutes to 11 for the Lightning. The Bruins’ Zdeno Chara and Lightning winger Patrick Maroon were assessed 5-minute fighting majors just 27 seconds into the first period.

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Kenneth Cross is a Florida National News sports contributor. | info@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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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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