Lightning-Kings: Rewinding Tampa Bay’s win

The Lightning's (and Nikita Kucherov) streaks continue after another hot offensive game.
Tampa Bay Lightning's Mathieu Joseph (7) scores past Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick (32) during the third period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019, in Los Angeles. [AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez]
Tampa Bay Lightning's Mathieu Joseph (7) scores past Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick (32) during the third period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019, in Los Angeles. [AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez]
Published January 4
Updated January 4

LOS ANGELES—Mathieu Joseph is making strides in his return from injury. He showed off some speed on a very pre-injury-looking play on Thursday night.

The goal was the Lightning's sixth in a 6-2 win over Los Angeles. It wasn't necessarily important to the game's outcome, but it was a good sign for Joseph.

The rookie had a step on Drew Doughty, who had to pivot to start the foot race, in chasing down the puck chipped into the zone by Ryan Callahan. He turned on the speed to get to the puck and then put it on net for a goal.

Joseph missed six games with an undisclosed "lower-body" injury, and Thursday was his third game back. As he recovered, Joseph said the trouble was that the pain was cropping up randomly, so he wanted to take the time to be sure he was ready.

The first game back, Joseph looked a little off getting back into the flow and timing of the game. On Monday he looked better and Thursday showed that burst again.

"With every game, he's getting more jump," coach Jon Cooper said. "What I liked is he kept after it, he didn't fear the situation. It was like he came out of a rocket."

The Lightning's power play came up big and Tampa Bay cut down on goals allowed in the win. Here are some odds and ends from the game:

Nikita Kucherov is still good. Is it a broken record to keep repeating his streaks? Kucherov had his seventh straight multi-point game with a goal and three assists. He's one off the franchise record (Vinny Lecavalier had eight straight).

Kucherov scored his 20th goal of the season, making him the third Lightning player to do so (Brayden Point and Steven Stamkos being the others). The goal was his 400th career point. He also extended his point streak to 12 games and now has goals in five straight.

Speaking of streaks. The Lightning has seven straight wins, one shy of the mark set before the overtime loss to Winnipeg on Dec. 13. Tampa Bay has a point in 16 games, which is two games short of the franchise record set in the 2003-04 season.

Ryan Callahan scored a nice goal. Callahan stole the puck in the neutral zone, then gained a step on two Kings defensemen, moving in to score on Quick.

Ryan McDonagh makes a rare misstep. McDonagh turned the puck over at the blue line, which turned into a breakaway for Austin Wagner and the Kings' first goal. McDonagh also scored his first goal since Dec. 10, so maybe it evens out.

Light show or hockey rink? Maybe it's being so close to the bright lights of Hollywood, but the Staples Center has a certain light show quality to its game operations. The lights flash around almost like strobes during player introductions, start of a power play and goals.

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