Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Kucherov on a roll for Lightning

SUNRISE — F Nikita Kucherov's scoring binge began 3 minutes, 21 seconds into the Lightning's victory Nov. 1 against the Islanders when he scored his first of two goals that night. It ended late in Saturday's win against New Jersey when he outskated the Devils defense and beat goalie Cory Schneider with a backhand shot.

All told, Kucherov scored three goals and assisted on four others in three games for a seven-point total that earned him the NHL's First Star of the Week.

Kucherov entered Monday's game against the Panthers with an NHL-high 11 assists and third in scoring with 15 points.

For coach Jon Cooper, Kucherov's play was just a reminder of why is one of the emerging stars in the league.

"He just can make plays at a really high rate of speed," Cooper said after Monday's morning skate, "but the one thing for him is has the ability to make other guys better. If you look at his goal-to-assist ratio, usually he's got a few more goals and a few less assists, but he's really helping his teammates out.

"Pucks are going to go in for him. We just keep telling him he's got to shot the puck, be more selfish, because when he shoots, the puck has eyes."

DROUIN UPDATE: F Jonathan Drouin's status has been listed as day to day since taking a hit to the head Nov. 1 against the Islanders, but Cooper indicated Monday that might not be the case. When asked if recalling F Cory Conacher meant Drouin is not close to returning, Cooper said, "I don't know necessarily about where Jo's timetable is. We're hoping very soon he'll be back." Drouin missed his third game Monday.

FILPPULA OUT: F Valtteri Filppula was not in Monday's lineup because of a lower body injury. Cooper said after the morning skate that Conacher rejoined the team to provide depth because several forwards are not 100 percent. "We've got guys that are on the cusp of maybe playing maybe not," Cooper said. "I think we should be in decent shape (Monday), but just in case. We have limited numbers, so if guys aren't ready to go he'll be in." Conacher was not in the lineup. D Nikita Nesterov, a healthy scratch in the previous three games, was in the lineup as Cooper went with seven defensemen and 11 forwards for the first time this season.

Up next

vs. Islanders, 7:30 Thursday,

Amalie Arena. TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 970-AM

Kucherov on a roll for Lightning 11/07/16 [Last modified: Monday, November 7, 2016 9:36pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. NFL commissioner, players' union angrily denounce Trump comments on national anthem


    SOMERSET, N.J. — The National Football League and its players' union on Saturday angrily denounced President Donald Trump for suggesting that owners fire players who kneel during the national …

    President Donald Trump walks off the stage after he speaks at campaign rally in support of Sen. Luther Strange, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, in Huntsville, Ala. [Associated Press]
  2. Matt Peca making case for Lightning spot


    Center Matt Peca said he didn't read too much into the fact he was the only Lightning player to appear in each of the first three exhibition games.

    But Peca, 24, loved it.

    Matt Peca won nine of 10 faceoffs Friday, a skill the Lightning badly needs.
  3. Bucs players respond to Trump comments on anthem protests


    President Donald Trump shared his thoughts Friday night on NFL players protesting during the national anthem, suggesting that NFL owners should "fire" players who kneel during the anthem in protest. His remarks are alreading drawing responses from many NFL players, including some Bucs.

    Bucs players Mike Evans and Jameis Winston stand with coach Dirk Koetter during the national anthem in a game played in San Diego last season.
  4. Rays morning after: Wilson Ramos showing glimpses of what's possible in 2018


    The real payoff for the Rays signing C Wilson Ramos last off-season will come in 2018, when he can play a full season fully recovered from right knee surgery.

    Catcher Wilson Ramos connects for a two-run single in the fifth inning against the Cubs on Sept. 20, 2017.
  5. Buccaneers-Vikings Scouting Report: Watching Kyle Rudolph, Adam Thielen and Everson Griffen


    No matter how much film we study, no matter how much data we parse, we just don't know how an NFL season will unfold.

    Four of tight end Kyle Rudolph's seven catches this season have come on third down, including this 15-yard touchdown in the Vikings' opener against the Saints. [Getty Images]