(The Sports Xchange) – Highlights of National Hockey League games on Thursday:
Lightning 3, Red Wings 2
The two hottest players on the hottest team in the NHL continue to play at another level as Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos each scored again to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 3-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday night.
Stamkos scored the game-winning goal on the power play in the third period on an assist from Kucherov with 13:38 left. Both have scored points in all 11 games, matching the Lightning team record to start a season set by Martin St. Louis in 2009. Tampa Bay (9-1-1) is off to its best start in franchise history.
For Kucherov, it was his 12th goal of the season, extending his NHL lead. Stamkos went into the night leading the NHL in points (20) with three goals and a league-best 17 assists.
Panthers 8, Ducks 3
Radim Vrbata produced a hat trick and rookie first-round pick Owen Tippett scored his first NHL goal as Florida routed Anaheim.
Vrbata, who signed a one-year, free-agent contract with Florida on July 1, had not scored in his first eight games with the Panthers before recording his seventh career hat trick. Aleksander Barkov also starred for the Panthers with a goal and two assists.
Penguins 2, Jets 1 (overtime)
Phil Kessel scored his 300th career goal on a breakaway at 1:07 of overtime to lift Pittsburgh over Winnipeg.
Kessel got the puck on a turnover by Patrik Laine at the far blue line, zoomed down the ice and tucked the puck under the pads of Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyk. The Penguins’ Conor Sheary and Winnipeg’s Josh Morrissey scored in the first period for a 1-1 tie.
Oilers 5, Stars 4
Matt Benning scored the winning goal with 2:27 left in the third period as Edmonton erupted for a season-high in goals to beat Dallas.
Ryan-Nugent Hopkins scored twice while Connor McDavid, Patrick Maroon and Benning added singles in the Oilers’ second win in seven games. Edmonton came into the game averaging an NHL-worst 1.88 goals.
Canucks 6, Capitals 2
Sven Baertschi scored two power-play goals and collected an assist as Vancouver won its fourth straight game.
Derek Dorsett scored his team-leading sixth goal and added an assist for Vancouver. Other goals came from Thomas Vanek, Bo Horvat and Markus Granlund. Brock Boeser recorded three power-play assists.
Hurricanes 6, Maple Leafs 3
Josh Jooris scored twice and Victor Rask notched the go-ahead goal in the second period as Carolina topped Toronto.
Teuvo Teravainen, Elias Lindholm and Brock McGinn also scored for the Hurricanes, who had lost their two previous games. Teravainen and Haydn Fleury each added two assists while Scott Darling made 31 saves for Carolina.
Kings 4, Canadiens 0
Jonathan Quick made a season-high 40 saves as Los Angeles blanked Montreal.
Quick posted his 46th career shutout and second of the season as the Kings swept the season series after posting a 5-1 home win last week. Rookie Adrian Kempe, Tyler Toffoli, Anze Kopitar and Kurtis MacDermid scored for Los Angeles.
Wild 6, Islanders 4
Eric Staal and rookie Luke Kunin scored short-handed goals to lift Minnesota past New York.
Staal scored his 18th career short-handed goal to give the Wild a 3-0 lead late in the first period and then assisted on Kunin’s short-handed goal in the second. Marcus Foligno, Jason Zucker, Jonas Brodin and Zack Mitchell added even-strength goals for Minnesota.
Bruins 2, Sharks 1
Danton Heinen, recalled from the minor leagues earlier in the day, scored his first two NHL goals, and Anton Khudobin stopped 36 shots to lead Boston over San Jose.
Heinen, who had three assists in three games with the Bruins earlier this month, scored a short-handed goal in the first period and at even strength to break a 1-1 tie at 13:27 of the second. Khudobin, playing his third straight game for the injured Tuukka Rask, allowed only a power-play goal to former Boston captain Joe Thornton 10:40 into the second period.
Rangers 5, Coyotes 2
Pavel Buchnevich scored twice as New York kept Arizona winless.
Michael Grabner also had two goals, adding an empty-netter with 35.6 seconds remaining. Chris Kreider had the other goal for the Rangers, who received 27 saves from backup goaltender Ondrej Pavelec in his second start of the season. New York’s Boo Nieves had three assists in his season debut.
Senators 5, Flyers 4
Jean-Gabriel Pageau recorded a goal and two assists as Ottawa survived a late-game scare to defeat Philadelphia.
The Senators, who lead the league with three blown third-period leads, were in front 5-2 heading into the final five minutes.