Point scores 2 goals, Lightning beat Predators 5-2
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Brayden Point had two goals and the Tampa Bay Lightning scored three times in the third period to beat the Nashville Predators 5-2 on Thursday night.
Point made it 3-2 with his second goal of the night, converting a 2-on-1 just 2:14 into the third. It was his fourth two-goal game this season and third over his last seven outings.
Nick Paul scored at 7:10 and Brandon Hagel added a short-handed goal with 4:20 left to put Tampa Bay up 5-2.
“Good on us to reel it in in the third,” Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said.
The Lightning were the last NHL team to get a short-handed goal this season.
“I feel like we’re not cursed anymore,” Hagel said.
Brian Elliott made 34 saves and Corey Perry also scored for the Lightning, who were coming off a 4-2 loss Tuesday to Detroit. Elliott, the backup to Andrei Vasilevskiy, won his sixth straight game.
Cooper became the quickest NHL coach to 450 wins, coming in his 741st game.
Tampa Bay captain Steven Stamkos extended his point streak to 12 games (seven goals, 12 assists) with two assists. He tied Brian Propp for 93rd place in NHL history with 1,004 points.
Nashville, which is 7-2-1 over the last 10 games, got goals from Mark Jankowski and Alexandre Carrier. Juuse Saros stopped 27 shots.
“Some unforced errors on our part, some turnovers,” Jankowski said of the third period. “They’re a great rush team, they’re a skilled team.”
Carrier tied it 2-all on the rebound of his own shot at 12:36 of the second. It was his third goal in five games against Tampa Bay. He has two goals in 118 games against everyone else.
“I wish we would play more here,” a smiling Carrier said.
Point and Perry put the Lightning up 2-0 early in the first.
Point scored at 1:16 before Perry had a rebound power-play goal 1:37 later.
Perry tied Patrice Bergeron for 96th on the NHL list with 409 career goals by scoring his second in the last 21 games. He has one goal and five assists during a four-game point streak.
Jankowski made it 2-1 on Nashville’s first shot, scoring on a 2-on-1 with 9:09 left in the first. It was Nashville’s first short-handed goal of the season.
There was a video tribute in the first period for Predators D Ryan McDonagh, who spent the previous five seasons with Tampa Bay and helped the Lightning win two consecutive Stanley Cups before losing in last season’s final. McDonagh, traded to Nashville in a salary cap-related deal in July, didn’t play Thursday after taking a shot to the cheekbone area on Dec. 2.
“It’s a bummer, no doubt,” McDonagh said about sitting out. “A lot of great memories here in my time, and really thankful for my time here.”
McDonagh is expected to miss two to four weeks.
Jankowski’s goal came soon after the tribute.
“I blame Mac,” a smiling Cooper said. “He had his imprints on the game sitting in the stands.”
Predators: Host the Ottawa Senators on Saturday.
Lightning: Play the fourth of a six-game homestand Saturday against Florida.
AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports