|Date of game: 10/28/2014
Recap: Tampa Bay vs. Arizona
Tampa, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Nikita Kucherov recorded his first career hat trick, propelling the Tampa Bay Lightning past the Arizona Coyotes, 7-3, on Tuesday.
Brian Boyle added two goals for the Lightning, who have won three of four. Valtteri Filppula and Matthew Carle also lit the lamp, while Ben Bishop stopped 22-of-25 shots.
Shane Doan, Martin Erat and B.J. Crombeen scored for the Coyotes, who have lost four of five. Crombeen faced the Lightning for the first time since being traded to the Coyotes over the summer.
Mike Smith, who spent parts of four seasons with Tampa Bay from 2007-11, turned aside 27-of-33 shots before being pulled in the third period. Devan Dubnyk made one save in relief.
"(We made) a lot of poor decisions with the puck and (didn't execute) at the level we need to execute. Simple as that," said Coyotes coach Dave Tippett.
Kucherov redirected Radko Gudas' shot from the point past Smith at 7:46 of the first period.
Filppula jammed home a rebound from in close to give the Lightning a 2-0 lead at the 12:18 mark. He started with the puck behind the net, slid a pass in front and then collected the rebound amid a scramble in front of Smith.
"It was a good start for us and we were rewarded," said Boyle. "There were some plays that guys made that were pretty impressive, big-time plays from some players. That's always nice when we finish. But I think for the most part we were working hard and were in the right spots."
Kucherov scored his second goal of the night on a nifty backhand at the 3:20 mark of the middle stanza.
Doan backhanded a rebound from in close for his first goal of the season at 14:07, while Antoine Vermette assisted on the goal for his 400th NHL point.
Boyle responded over three minutes later on an unassisted backhanded goal.
Erat quickly got some momentum back for the Coyotes when his wraparound shot deflected off Bishop's skate into the back of the net at 18:52 of the second.
But the Lightning put the game away in the third. Kucherov completed his hat trick with a one-timer from the slot at 8:23. Boyle also scored on a one-timer at the 9:26 mark.
Crombeen and Carle scored later in the period to account for the final margin.Game Notes
The Lightning started a four-game homestand on Tuesday, while the Coyotes
began a four-game road trip ... Crombeen played 99 games for Tampa Bay from
2012-14 ... Arizona center Martin Hanzal returned to the lineup after missing
three games with a lower-body injury ... Lightning center Tyler Johnson had
four assists to extend his career-best point streak to seven games.