Evander Kane and Connor McDavid scored 55 seconds apart in the third period and the Edmonton Oilers extended their franchise-record winning streak to 14 games with a 4-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday.

Warren Foegele and Dylan Holloway also scored and Stuart Skinner made 27 saves as Edmonton became the seventh team in NHL history to win 14 in a row.

Edmonton improved to 22-3 in its last 25 games and is nearing the NHL record for longest winning streak of 17, set by Pittsburgh in 1992-93.

Skinner won his 11th straight game, passing Grant Fuhr for the longest single-season winning streak in franchise history.

Dmitri Voronkov had the lone goal for the Blue Jackets, who dropped to 1-4-1 in their last six games.

Kucherov powers Lightning

Nikita Kucherov had a hat trick and set up another goal as the surging Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Philadelphia Flyers, 6-3.

With his four points, Kucherov moved into the NHL lead with 80 points, three ahead of Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon.

Brayden Point and Brandon Hagel each had a goal and an assist to help Tampa Bay win for the sixth time in seven games.

Jamie Drysdale, Cam York and Cam Atkinson had goals for the Flyers, who dropped their third straight following a five-game winning streak.

Hill sharp in return as Knights win

Adin Hill turned away 40 shots in his return from injury and the Vegas Golden Knights held on for a 3-2 win over the New York Islanders.

Ivan Barbashev and Nicolas Roy had a goal and an assist apiece for Vegas, which has point in five straight games (4-0-1).

Hill made his first start since Dec. 17 after missing 22 of the previous 23 games with a lower-body injury.

Brock Nelson notched his 500th career point with a first-period goal and Jean-Gabriel Pageau had a short-handed tally for the Islanders, who fell to 1-1 under new coach Patrick Roy.


Zach Hyman scored two of his three goals in the Oilers’ four-goal first period and surging Edmonton cruised to a 6-1 rout of the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday.

Connor McDavid and Mattias Janmark each had three assists and Ryan McLeod and Mattias Ekholm also scored to help the Oilers win their fifth straight game.

McLeod scored 28 seconds into the game and Ekholm extended the lead just 13 seconds later. Hyman netted his first of the game at 5:46 and Pyotr Kochetkov was replaced by Antti Raanta after allowing three goals on six shots.

Jordan Staal spoiled Stuart Skinner’s shutout bid midway through the third period as Carolina dropped its second in a row following a 3-0-1 stretch.

Skinner finished with 38 saves and has been in net for all five wins during the streak, posting a 1.58 goals-against average.

Kucherov extends streak in Lightning’s win

Nikita Kucherov had a goal and an assist to extend his point streak to 11 games and the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins, 3-1.

Anthony Cirelli and Tanner Jeannot also scored for the Lightning, and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 23 saves as Tampa Bay won its second in a row following a four-game skid.

Kucherov, the NHL scoring leader with 44 points, has six goals and 15 assists during his streak.

Jake Guentzel had the lone goal for Pittsburgh, which had a five-game point streak snapped (2-1-3).

Marchessault, Eichel lead Knights over Blues

Jonathan Marchessault scored the 200th goal of his career and JacK Eichel had a goal and an assist as the Vegas Golden Knights defeated the St. Louis Blues, 6-3.

The Golden Knights had six different goal scorers with Eichel, Marchesault, Keegan Kolesar and Michael Amadio tallying in the second period, when Vegas turned a 3-1 deficit into a 5-3 lead.

Vegas is 3-0-3 in its last six games and leads the NHL with 39 points.

Jordan Binnington made a season-high 43 saves for the Blues, who have alternated wins and losses in their last eight games.

Calle Jarnkrok's goal 46 seconds into overtime capped a furious rally for the Toronto Maple Leafs, who overcame an early three-goal deficit to hand the Tampa Bay Lightning a 6-5 loss on Monday.

Both Jarnkrok and Auston Matthews scored two goals for Toronto, which trailed by a 4-1 margin after one period and bounced back after allowing Tampa Bay's Brandon Hagel to tie the game late in the third. Matthews added an assist, while Mitchell Marner finished with four points on a goal and three assists.

After the Leafs' Matthew Knies recorded the game's first goal, the Lightning struck four times against Toronto starting goaltender Ilya Samsonov before the first intermission. Nikita Kucherov scored twice with Victor Hedman and Brayden Point also beating Samsonov to stake Tampa Bay to a 4-1 lead.

Toronto cut its deficit to one on two second-period goals by Matthews, then took a 5-4 advantage when Jarnkrok and Marner scored just eight seconds apart early in the third. The lead lasted late into regulation before Hagel found the back of the net with 2:26 left in regulation.

Joseph Woll stopped 18 of 19 shots in relief of Samsonov, who was pulled late in the first period after allowing four goals on 12 shots. Jonas Johansson made 26 saves for Tampa Bay.


Two rookies get first NHL goals in Bruins' win

John Beecher and Mason Lohrei each scored the first goals of their NHL careers to help the Boston Bruins continue their sizzling start with Monday's 3-2 win over the Dallas Stars.

Brad Marchand added a goal and Jeremy Swayman made 35 saves as the Bruins improved to 10-1-1 and bounced back from their first regulation loss of the season, a 5-4 defeat at Detroit on Saturday.

Beecher opened the scoring just past the midway mark of the first period and Lohrei made it 2-0 less than four minutes later when he converted a feed from Danton Heinen past Dallas goaltender Jake Oettinger. 

Swayman kept the Stars off the scoreboard until Wyatt Johnson's goal 5:09 into the third period. Marchand later scored on the power play to restore Boston's two-goal advantage before Dallas' Joe Pavelski cut the lead to 3-2 with just 28 seconds remaining.

Oettinger finished with 26 saves for the Stars, who have now lost two straight following a 7-1-1 start to the season.


Canucks rout sputtering Oilers to extend win streak

Quinn Hughes had one of three Vancouver goals in the first period and added three assists as the Canucks rolled to a 6-2 victory over the slumping Edmonton Oilers to extend their winning streak to four games.

Hughes, Pius Suter and Brock Boeser scored within a span of 3:22 in the opening period to help surprising Vancouver move to 9-2-1 on the season. The Canucks have missed the playoffs in each of the previous three seasons.

Boeser finished with two goals and J.T. Miller had a goal and an assist to support a 40-save performance from Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko.

Mattias Ekholm scored on a power play to give Edmonton a short-lived 1-0 lead less than seven minutes in. Following Vancouver's three-goal barrage later in the period, Leon Draisaitl got the Oilers within 3-2 in the second before Nils Hoglander restored the Canucks' two-goal advantage with just over nine minutes remaining before the second intermission.

Stuart Skinner recorded 30 saves for Edmonton, which has now lost three straight and fell to 2-8-1.

Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper made it clear this is not his side's first rodeo after an overpowering 7-3 road win against the Toronto Maple Leafs to open their first-round series on Tuesday.

The Lightning are coming off three consecutive Stanley Cup Finals appearances – including championships in 2020 and 2021 – and are trying to become the first team to reach four in a row since the New York Islanders' five from the 1979-80 season through 1983-84.

Against the Maple Leafs, Tampa Bay opening the scoring 78 seconds into the action through Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, before Anthony Cirelli and Nikita Kucherov added first-period goals to reach the intermission at 3-0.

Toronto clawed it back to 3-2 thanks to goals from Ryan O'Really and William Nylander, but that would be as close as they would get as the Lightning struck quickly with three goals of their own before the end of the second period to put the game away.

Brayden Point scored twice, Kucherov and Corey Perry collected a goal and two assists each, while Cirelli and Ross Colton also both scored and assisted in a stat-stuffing night for the Lightning.

Cooper said he knew his squad would be energised by the playoff atmosphere, even in a road environment.

"We've been there before," he said. "We've been down this road. 

"To be honest, you embrace these moments, and the atmosphere at the beginning of the game, the anthems and the crowd going nuts, it's a wonderful experience. It's not something you should shy away from, and we talked to the guys about that.

"I will never question the guys in that [locker] room, and as the coach, you always want the best, but deep down inside you know there’s a whole bunch of gamers in that room… we knew they would come out to play."

Goal scorer Colton said he was hoping the Lightning would be able to "flick the switch" now that the important games have arrived.

"I think we were excited for it," he said. "I think for a while there we weren't playing the way that we wanted to play. 

"We kept saying that we were going to flick the switch, and at some point we had to stop talking about it and start doing it. 

"So the playoffs, against the Leafs, in this building – it was obviously electric."

Perry agreed, adding: "We had a tough March, a tough end of the season, but it's about the playoffs, and that's what we were doing. We're trying to get our game into shape to come in here and play."

Game 2 will remain in Toronto, before the series heads to Tampa Bay for Games 3 and 4.

Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper expects All-Star Nikita Kucherov to play in Game 4 of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals on Wednesday despite an injury concern.

Kucherov exited Game 3 on Monday, as the Lightning won 6-2 over the Colorado Avalanche, with 6:05 remaining in the third period after a push from Devon Toews.

The Russian tangled with Toews after being slammed into the ice and boards and was involved in the ensuing power play but left hobbling for the trainers' room soon after.

"As I sit right now, I think he can play tomorrow," Cooper told reporters on Tuesday.

"But I'm not Kuch. If I know Kuch, he's sitting there saying the same thing. But we'll see what the doctors and everybody says."

Kucherov has been the Lightning's leading points scorer over this season's Stanley Cup playoffs, adding seven goals to his 19 assists.

The 29-year-old has been a creative force for the reigning Stanley Cup champions in important moments this post-season, namely his extraordinary game-winning backhand assist for Ross Colton in Game 2 against the Florida Panthers to set up a 2-0 series lead.

Cooper added: "I think so. I hope so. It's always difficult when the game is 12 hours ago or whatever it was. A lot can happen over the next two days.

"Am I glad there's a day off between games? Yes. We'll see how he is tomorrow."

Cooper said that Kucherov has played through pain before, including in the 2021 playoffs when he had a cracked rib.

The Lightning, who are chasing a rare Stanley Cup three-peat, trail 2-1 in the series after losing both games in Colorado.

Veteran Tampa Bay Lightning center Pierre-Edouard Bellemare pointed to the return of urgency as his side levelled the NHL Stanley Cup Eastern Conference Finals after a 4-1 win over the New York Rangers on Tuesday.

The Lightning, chase their third straight Stanley Cup, went down 2-0 in the Conference Finals after the Rangers claimed 6-2 and 3-2 wins in the opening two games at Madison Square Garden.

But Tuesday’s Game 4 win followed Sunday’s 3-2 victory at Amalie Arena, hauling the Lightning back into contention.

"I think the urgency," Bellemare said post-game. "We were not happy about the way we played [in the first two games].

"We’re a team that understand when we’re not good and the coaches have been helping us to be better. I think the last two games have been much better for us."

Bellemare refused to point to the Lightning’s lengthy break between series, having swept the Florida Panthers 4-0 in the second round.

"I don’t want to use that as an excuse for the way we played," Bellemare said.

"I don’t think we were engaged enough. Yes, we were off for nine days, but at the end of the day it’s the Conference Finals.

"This is behind us. It’s 2-2 in the series, so that’s good."

Patrick Maroon had fired in a rebound to earn Tampa Bay an early lead, before Nikita Kucherov found space in the middle from Ondrej Palat’s pass to double their advantage in the second period. The goal was Kucherov’s 21st point this postseason.

Steven Stamkos netted his seventh goal of the playoffs, scoring 4:56 into the third period to make it 3-0, before Artemi Panarin pulled one back with a power play goal, only for Palat to fire into an empty net to close out the win.

The victory was Tampa Bay’s sixth in a row at home in the postseason.

"Obviously it’s a little bit easier in front of our fans," Bellemare said. "We’ve got their energy the whole game and we feed on it.

On the Lightning, Bellemare added: "The locker room is really special. It’s the same from the weakest link all the way to the top of the organisation.

"Everyone is thinking the same and pushing in the same direction. It’s really easy to play here."

Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper praised his side's ability to stay calm, after they snatched a 3-2 win from the New York Rangers in Game 3 on Sunday.

The Lightning were down 2-0 in the second period after power-play goals from Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider, but they rallied and Ondrej Palat scored the winning goal with 42 seconds remaining in the game.

After losing the first two games in the Eastern Conference finals, Cooper's side cut the series deficit to 2-1 with the win, keeping their hopes to retain the Stanley Cup alive.

The Lightning coach asserted his side could draw on extensive playoff experience in fighting back from losing position.

"We've been in spots like this," Cooper said post-game. "The big thing for us was, I felt like we had a recipe, we just had to stay with it. I think there are times in this series, we've tried to manufacture things that weren't there, that put us on our heels and gave up opportunities.

"Whether it was a break, whatever you want to call, we weren't in sync. Today we were down 2-0 and I don't want to sit here and say we didn't deserve to be down 2-0 because their power plays have been great, but our five-on-five game I liked.

"We just needed to stick with that and stay out of the box. I think in years past, maybe, panic would have set in at some point – definitely not with this group. No question, being there before, it's really helped us."

Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos were able to restore parity for the reigning champions, before Kucherov provided the crafty assist for Palat in the final minute.

Game 4 is on Tuesday, with the Rangers looking to make their first appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals since 2014.

The Tampa Bay Lightning's Ross Colton admittedly could not believe his eyes when he scored the winning goal against the Florida Panthers in a 2-1 victory, to take a 2-0 lead in their playoff series.

Colton was called onto the ice with under a minute remaining in the third period and the score locked at 1-1, but abandoned caution and made his way towards the net as Nikita Kucherov retrieved the puck.

Kucherov found Colton as he approached the net with an astonishing backhand, no-look flick off the boards as the Panthers defence converged onto him, leaving Colton with the relatively simple finish to win the game.

Colton's look of near-bewilderment almost said as much but he confirmed his awe at the 28-year-old Russian's assist afterwards.

“I couldn’t believe he [Kucherov] got it on my stick,” Colton said. “I think when we went in the corner, I just said, ‘Are you kidding me?’ like 10 times because I honestly couldn’t believe he put it on my stick.

"When you’re on the ice with Kuch, you’ve got to be ready for anything. He’s got eyes in the back of his head, because I don’t even know how he could tell I was there."

The Lightning were relentless defensively against one of the NHL's best attacking teams this season, snuffing out four Panthers power plays, including one with under five minutes remaining.

While singling out Kucherov as a "special, special player", Lightning coach Jon Cooper asserted the defensive performance and ability to snatch games in clutch moments was a reflection of the team's character.

“No, I’m not surprised,” Cooper said. “I’m just surprised they waited until 3.8 seconds left to do it.”

In Thursday's other result, the St. Louis Blues evened up their series with the Colorado Avalanche, winning 4-1.

The Tampa Bay Lightning were served with a warning by head coach Jon Cooper after launching their Stanley Cup Finals mission with a 5-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens.

Cooper said his team still had a heap of work to do if they are to clinch back-to-back titles, and borrowed a string of baseball metaphors as he spoke of potential "curveballs" to come.

Two goals and an assist from Nikita Kucherov helped the Lightning to their comprehensive win in Game 1 at Amalie Arena.

Kucherov now has 30 points in the Stanley Cup playoffs for a second straight year, after seven goals and 23 assists. He has 64 points across this season and the previous campaign in the playoffs, a total only ever surpassed in successive playoff campaigns by Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux.

The Russian became just the fifth player in NHL history to achieve multiple 30-point playoff campaigns, following Gretzky (six), Mark Messier (three), Jari Kurri (two) and Lemieux (two).

Cooper sounded a note of caution though, dialling down the euphoria and saying in his post-game news conference: "Consistency is the key.

"You have your plan, you stick with it and you consistently rock it, and if you do that we like our chances in games, but it doesn't guarantee results.

"For us we have found something that works with us. It doesn't mean you're going to win every night, but it's sticking with that process.

"You look no further than the last series we played in."

That was the semi-final against the New York Islanders that went all the way to the seventh game, the Lighting taking a 1-0 win in that decider.

"Teams in this league push you to the brink," Cooper said. "You have to hang in there and stick with it and this group has found a way to do that.

"You're not going to win a series in one night. There's curveballs and sliders and fastballs, and they're all thrown at you at different times, but if you're consistent with your game we trust that good things will happen.

"Tonight was just one, but the series is long from over. We're happy with tonight and now we're just going to improve on what we're doing and try and replicate it in Game 2."

That second game comes on Wednesday night, also in Tampa.

Canadiens assistant coach Luke Richardson, leading the team in the continuing absence of Dominique Ducharme who tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month, expects a tighter battle next time.

Richardson said: "The rink was buzzing, and that's something that we will get over and we'll be a little bit more used to next game.

"I think maybe just to strike early for us will be key next game, to try and weather that storm and quiet the building a little bit and let us get a rhythm going."

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