SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Jon Cooper arrived at his postgame interview wearing a pair of hand warmers, something the Tampa Bay Lightning coach never recalled wearing during any non-outdoor game. .
“Like a meat locker out there,” he said.
His hands were cold. His team was sizzling.
Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos each had two goals and two assists, Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 37 shots and the Tampa Bay Lightning snapped the Florida franchise’s 13-game winning streak with an 8-4 win over the Panthers on Sunday night. evening.
“We knew the streak they were on,” said Nick Paul of Tampa Bay, who scored twice. “And we wanted to come here and be the ones to finish it.”
Rayo won their third game in a row and have scored 22 goals in that stretch.
Victor Hedman had four assists for Tampa Bay, which had two power play goals and one short count. Brayden Point and Cal Foote also scored for the Lightning, who stayed alive in the race with Toronto for second place behind Florida in the Atlantic Division.
There were fights, bloody faces, bloody jerseys, and even interim Florida coach Andrew Brunette saw his night end early. Cooper shrugged as if this was the last chapter of Panthers-Lightning.
“The playoffs are like steroids for what we saw tonight,” Cooper said. “You have to be ready and games like this help you.”
Sam Reinhart scored his 30th and 31st goals for Florida, which also allowed goals from Brandon Montour and Mason Marchment. Spencer Knight left in the second period after allowing five goals on 17 shots, and Sergei Bobrovsky played the final 27 minutes in the net for the Panthers.
“I thought 5 against 5 we were fine,” Morena said. “We just got a bit disappointed at the end of our power plays, conceding goals. … They are a great power play team.”
And while Tampa Bay’s next game is at home on Tuesday, the Lightning weren’t headed home after the game. They leave for Washington, invited by President Joe Biden to visit the White House on Monday to celebrate their 2020 and 2021 Stanley Cup victories.
“It’s probably the most popular house in the country,” Cooper said. “To understand the history and the great people who have occupied that house for the last two hundred years, it is history. And for us to have the opportunity to come in and be a part of that, it’s great. It took us a couple of championships to finally get in there.”
Florida lost at home for the first time since Feb. 26, but remained four points ahead of Colorado in the race for the President’s Trophy, awarded for the NHL’s best regular-season record. The Panthers have 120 points; Colorado stayed at 116 after losing to Winnipeg on Sunday. Both the Panthers and Avalanche, who had general manager Joe Sakic watching in Florida on Sunday night, have three games remaining.
“There are some things that we absolutely have to shore up,” Morena said.
He said he received his misconduct simply for asking one of the game officials a question.
“I guess they didn’t like that question,” Morena said.
Jonathan Huberdeau had an assist for Florida, his 115th point of the season. He is now three points behind Edmonton’s Connor McDavid for the league lead; McDavid had two assists early Sunday in the Oilers’ loss to Columbus.
The Panthers went 34-7-0 at home, by far the best record in franchise history and an excellent sign for a team that secured the right to play Game 1, and, if need be, Game 7. for at least the first three. rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
And the Panthers finished as the second team in NHL history to record two different home winning streaks of at least 11 games in the same season. The Detroit Red Wings did it in 1995-96, both with 12-game streaks.
But the Lightning are still the champions, they looked good on Sunday and they were able to celebrate in Washington on Monday.
“That’s something everybody dreams of as a kid,” Lightning forward Brandon Hagel said. “As you get older, you understand a little bit of the privilege that winning teams and players get.”
4 WITH 30
Reinhart became the fourth Florida player with 30 goals, and that meant the Panthers joined Calgary as the only team with four such players so far this season. He also became the 46th player in the NHL with at least 30 goals this season, the most since 47 players reached that milestone in 2005-06.
Only five franchises (Pittsburgh, Columbus, New York Islanders, Boston and Washington) have winning streaks of 14 or more games. The Penguins’ 17-game streak is the record, set in the 1992-93 season. Columbus went on a 16 game winning streak in 2016-17. The Islanders (1981-82) and Penguins (2012-13) had 15-game streaks, while the Bruins (1929-30) and Capitals (2009-10) had 14-game streaks.
NOTES: Florida finished with 34 home wins this season, the third-most in NHL history. Detroit (1995-96) and Philadelphia (1975-76) won 36 home games in those seasons. … The 68 points at home this season for Florida broke the previous team mark of 58, set in 1999-2000. … Tampa Bay and Florida have split four games this season, with one of the Lightning’s victories coming in overtime. … Florida was hit with 66 penalty minutes. … The Lightning improved to 19-0-1 when Kucherov has at least two points in a game this season.
UNTIL NEXT TIME
Lightning: Host Columbus on Tuesday.
Panthers: Visit Boston on Tuesday.
Copyright 2022 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.