BOSTON (AP) — The Tampa Bay Lightning won their NHL record-tying 62nd game, getting a shorthanded goal by Steven Stamkos during a three-goal second period in their 6-3 victory over the Boston Bruins on Saturday in the teams’ regular-season finale.
Nikita Kucherov, Anthony Cirelli, Erik Cernak and Braydon Coburn also scored for Tampa Bay (62-16-4), which tied the 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings for most victories during the regular season.
Six of the wins, though, came in shootouts. The league introduced shootouts to decide ties after overtime at the start of the 2005-06 season. Before that, games ended in ties after overtime, which was brought in for regular-season games in 1983.
David Krejci, Danton Heinen and Matt Grzelcyk each had a goal for Boston (49-24-9), which fell one short of consecutive 50-win seasons since collecting four straight from 1970-71 through 1973-74. Tuukka Rask made 16 saves.
Kucherov will almost certainly win the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL’s leading scorer with 128 points (41 goals, 87 assists) barring a record setting night Edmonton’s Connor McDavid, who trails by 12 points.
Third-string goalie Edward Pasquale stopped 30 shots and Tyler Johnson added an empty-netter.
It was the Lightning’s 30th road win, making them just the second team in league history to reach that total. The 2005-06 Red Wings had 31.
Both teams had a handful of players that were rested. Boston had a larger group that included top-line players Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, who finished as the first Bruins player with 100 points in a regular season (36 goals, 64 assists) since Joe Thornton in 2002-03.
Trailing 2-1, Stamkos stole a pass and went in all alone, shifting around Rask before tucking a backhander into the net for an unassisted goal, tying it at 2 midway into the second. Cirelli’s goal 4:07 later moved the Lightning ahead 3-2. Kucherov scored 53 seconds into the third.
Krejci’s was credited with a goal 14:38 into the game that made it 1-0. Charlie McAvoy was originally given the goal after he collected a loose puck and fired it at the net as Krejci was charging toward the front.
Heinen beat Pasquale with a rising wrister inside the left post to make it 2-0 with 19.1 seconds left in the opening period. Cernak slipped a wrister past Rask from the slot for a power-play goal 4:41 into the second.
NOTES: Kucherov’s goal gave him 127 points, tying Alexander Mogilny’s mark set in 1992-93 for most by a Russian-born player. . Bruins defensemen Brandon Carlo, John Moore and Kevan Miller were out of the lineup along with forwards Chris Wagner and Noel Acciari. . Tampa Bay sat defensemen Victor Hedman, Anton Stralman and Mikhail Sergachev and forwards Cedric Paquette and Brayden Point. . Marchand won the Elizabeth Dufresne Trophy that’s voted by the local chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association for the best performance during home games. . Boston’s Charlie Coyle played his 500th NHL game.
Lightning: Host Columbus or Carolina in the first game of the opening-round of the playoffs this week.
Bruins: Host Toronto in Game 1 of the first round, likely beginning Thursday.
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