Kucherov returns with two assists, helps Lightning top Flames


TAMPANikita Kucherov had two assists in his first game since Oct. 16, helping the Tampa Bay Lightning defeat the Calgary Flames 4-1 at Amalie Arena on Thursday. 

The forward missed 32 games with a lower-body injury and had surgery Oct. 26.

Brayden Point and Alex Killorn scored for the Lightning (23-8-5), who are 8-0-1 in their past nine home games and were 1-2-1 in their previous four overall. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 26 saves. 

Dillon Dube scored for Flames (17-9-6), who have lost six of their past eight. Dan Vladar made 29 saves in his first start since Dec. 7. 

Corey Perry gave the Lightning a 1-0 lead at 12:21 of the second period after he chipped the puck past Vladar off a pass from Pierre-Edouard Bellemare

Point extended the lead to 2-0 at 2:52 of the third period when he scored at the left post off a cross-ice pass from Kucherov. 

Ondrej Palat made it 3-0 at 10:10 of the third when he scored in the low slot off Kucherov’s pass from below the goal line. Killorn made it 4-0 14 seconds later at 10:24. 

Dube cut it to 4-1 at 15:54 with a wrist shot from the left face-off circle.

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