Nikita Kucherov Bags Hat Trick as Tampa Bay Lightning Cruise


Oct 28, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov (86) is congratulated by center Tyler Johnson (9) and left wing Ondrej Palat (18) after he scored a goal against the Arizona Coyotes during the second period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Nikita Kucherov bagged his first career NHL hat trick while Tyler Johnson had four assists as the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Arizona Coyotes 7-3 Tuesday night at Amalie Arena.

Brian Boyle also added two goals while Ben Bishop made 22 saves for the Bolts (6-3-1), who opened a four-game home stand after a five-game road trip.

Kucherov scored in each period. He opened the scoring 7:46 into the first when he tipped in Radko Gudas’ shot from the point.

After Valterri Filppula had doubled the Bolts’ lead later in the period, Kucherov added his second of the game 3:20 into the second when he put in a rebound after Arizona (3-4-1) goalie, and former Bolt, Mike Smith couldn’t hold onto Johnson’s shot.

The Russian completed his hat trick 8:23 into the third when he scored on a one-timer off a Johnson feed to make it 5-2 Tampa Bay.

Shane Doan and Martin Erat scored either side of Boyle to make it 4-2 Tampa Bay after two periods.

Boyle got his second goal 1:03 after Kucherov completed the hat trick on a one-timer off a J.T. Brown pass before former Bolt B.J. Crombeen scored his first of the season.

Matt Carle completed the scoring with 1:45 left on the power play as his blast from the blue line found a way past Devon Dubnyk, who had replaced Smith after the sixth goal.

The Lightning had 35 shots and went 1-for-3 with the man advantage. They didn’t allow the Coyotes a power play chance.

Tampa Bay host Philadelphia Thursday evening in their next game.