DENVER (AP) — Nikita Kucherov took a puck in the face to keep it from leaving the zone. Steven Stamkos faked a shot to give it right back to an open Kucherov.Two heads-up plays for the one and only goal.Kucherov scored on a power play with 13:36 remaining , Andrei Vasilevskiy outperformed Semyon Varlamov in a goaltender showdown and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Colorado Avalanche 1-0 on Wednesday night.“That was a good one,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “It was just fun to be a part of and have the seat that I do have to watch it.”This game featured two high-scoring, speedy teams. It had plenty of big-time saves by two shifty goaltenders.It certainly didn’t lack entertainment.“Usually it’s pretty boring when no one scores,” Stamkos said. “But both goaltenders played well. Both teams have some pretty dynamic offensive players that can create something.”On the winning goal, Kucherov saved the puck from leaving the offensive end as it bounced off his noggin. He then passed it over to Stamkos, who instantly drew a crowd. Instead of forcing a shot, Stamkos deked a defenseman and then delivered it cross-ice to Kucherov, who lined it in for his 150th career goal.“Anytime I can get it to him in that area, I’m going to give it to him every time,” Stamkos said. “He does what he does best.”Vasilevskiy was masterful in neutralizing the high-flying Avalanche Chicago Blackhawks T-Shirts Womens , who returned home after a 3-0-1 trip. The Lightning goaltender turned back 23 shots for his 13th NHL shutout.“He was seeing everything and seeing his rebounds,” Cooper said. “He was great.”The only time the Avalanche were able to get one by him, the goal didn’t count. Gabriel Landeskog snapped in a pass from Nathan MacKinnon during a 2-on-1 break in the first period, but as they celebrated Tampa Bay challenged the play. The officials disallowed the goal after ruling Tyson Jost was offside. Jost was away from the play.“That’s not where the game was won or lost,” Landeskog said. “It would’ve been nice with a first-period goal, but we moved on and kept playing. We had other chances to score.”Vasilevskiy and Varlamov matched each other save for stellar save most of the contest. Varlamov blinked first when he allowed Kucherov’s goal with defenseman Tyson Barrie serving a hooking penalty.The Avalanche pulled Varlamov with about 1:30 remaining, but couldn’t score the equalizer. Varlamov finished with 23 saves.“I like a lot of the things that we did,” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. “That’s one of the best teams in the league, no doubt. I think our guys should keep their chins up.”MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen each had nine-game point streaks halted. Their streaks matched the longest to start a season since the team relocated to town in 1995-96.The Lightning were coming off a 6-3 win over Chicago in which they set a new franchise record with 55 shots. Against Colorado, the Lightning had 24 shots.Kucherov had a wide open net in the closing seconds of the second period with Varlamov out of position. The Lightning right winger sent a liner toward a vacant part of the net Sam Reinhart Jersey , but the puck hit off a stick and caromed wide.He got some redemption.“Felt good,” Kucherov said.At the morning skate, Landeskog deflected the credit for receiving the league’s first star of the week. He had six goals during the stretch, including a hat trick.“If the team wasn’t winning, I wouldn’t get that recognition,” Landeskog said. “It’s fun. But at the same time it’s a young season, a lot of hockey left. Just enjoy it while we can.”NOTES: Lightning D Slater Koekkoek was a scratch. Cooper hopes to get him in a game during the trip. … Avalanche F J.T. Compher (concussion-like symptoms) was scheduled to see the doctor again Wednesday night. “I think he’s feeling better. But he has his good days and bad days,” Bednar said. … F Conor Timmins (concussion-like symptoms) is “feeling a little bit better,” Bednar said.UP NEXTLightning: Continue their five-game road swing with stop No. 4 in Vegas on Friday night.Avalanche: Welcome former Avalanche Matt Duchene and the Ottawa Senators to town on Friday. WASHINGTON (AP) — A dominant first period and a three-goal lead had the Florida Panthers feeling a little too good about cruising toward their first victory of the season.“You feel comfortable, but I think we can’t feel too comfortable Womens Zemgus Girgensons Jersey ,” forward Jonathan Huberdeau said.The Panthers blew that lead and allowed the tying goal with 85 seconds left in regulation before Huberdeau scored the shootout winner to beat the Washington Capitals 6-5 on Friday night and end a four-game season-opening skid.Huberdeau and Vincent Trocheck each had a goal and two assists and scored in the shootout to give Florida a badly-needed boost.“We needed to get into the win column,” Trocheck said. “We definitely needed that win and, hopefully, the floodgates will open now.”Florida has been a team of floodgates this season, scoring and allowing three consecutive goals for the second game in a row. This time, they went from a 1-all tie to up 4-1 on goals by Evgenii Dadonov, Colton Sceviour and Jared McCann and lost it when Washington’s Brett Connolly, Jakub Vrana and Devante Smith-Pelly all beat James Reimer in a span of less than 12 minutes.In a wacky, back-and-forth game that became a battle of backup goaltenders, the Panthers got the one or two saves and the production they needed to get over the hump. Michael Hutchinson stopped 10 of the 11 shots he faced in regulation and overtime and made a couple of more saves in the shootout , and shootout goals by captain Aleksander Barkov, Trocheck and Huberdeau sent them home happy.“It’s a sense of relief, for sure,” said Huberdeau, who scored a 5-on-3 power-play goal with 50.2 seconds left in the second period that gave Florida a 5-4 lead. “Being so close every game to get a win, now we finally got it, the first one.”The first one could have come in regulation, but Nicklas Backstrom scored a 6-on-4 goal on the power play with backup Pheonix Copley pulled for the extra attacker and 1:25 left in the third. Getting to overtime allowed the defending Stanley Cup champions to salvage a point from a rough, inconsistent effort.“We were like two different teams the first period and then the rest of the game after that,” Capitals center Lars Eller said. “There was a lot of good stuff and some bad stuff we’ve got to correct.”Washington starter Braden Holtby got the hook after allowing four goals on 11 shots in the first period Johnny Gaudreau Jersey Kids , including Trocheck’s 9:11 in that went in off Eller’s skate. Much like that goal, Holtby was hardly to blame as the victim of some inexplicable turnovers by his teammates.The move to Copley to start the second and some line-shuffling by coach Todd Reirden sparked the Capitals, who beat Reimer four times on 20 shots to send him to the bench. Copley stopped 18 of 19 shots to help the comeback, which was as much a sign of the Panthers’ maddening up-and-down play as anything else.“That snowball effect again — we got rolling and shot ourselves in the foot a little bit,” Florida coach Bob Boughner said. “But we found a way to win tonight. We talked about winning the first game and how good it’s going to feel, get the monkey off our back a little bit. Now I think we can move ahead. It would’ve been tough losing that game.”NOTES: Panthers D Mark Pysyk left the game in the second period with an upper-body injury after taking a hit from Alex Ovechkin and did not return. Boughner said Pysyk was still being evaluated. … F Dmitrij Jaskin returned to the Capitals’ lineup, replacing Nathan Walker.UP NEXTPanthers: Get defenseman Mike Matheson back from his two-game suspension when they return home to face the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday.Capitals: Begin a three-game Western Canadian road trip at the Vancouver Canucks on Monday before visiting Edmonton and Calgary.
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