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National Hockey League: Kucherov is first with 100 points… and Crosby is also inspiring with a 4-point game

National Hockey League: Kucherov is first with 100 points… and Crosby is also inspiring with a 4-point game

NEWARK, N.J. – Star forward Nikita Kucherov became the first NHL player this season to reach 100 points on Sunday afternoon as the Tampa Bay Lightning had fun at the expense of the New York Devils Jerseys, winning 4 to 1.

He provided two assists at the beginning of the second half, reaching 100 points for the fourth time in his career. He then added two points to his tally in the third, including an insurance goal into an empty net, bringing his tally to 102 points, six points ahead of the Colorado Avalanche's Nathan MacKinnon.

This fifth four-point performance of the season matches the Edmonton Oilers' Connor McDavid in that regard.

Kucherov's career high came in the 2018-19 season when he totaled 128 points.

On Sunday, he was a partner in goals for Brayden Point, Victor Hedman and Brandon Hagel. He now has 64 assists.

No. 86 from Tampa (32-23-5) is also the fifth active player to reach the 100-point plateau at least four times. The others are Sidney Crosby (6), McDavid (6), Alex Ovechkin (4) and Leon Draisaitl (4).

Kucherov became one of eight different players since 1992-93 to accumulate 100 points in 59 or fewer games.

Tyler Toffoli scored the lone goal for the Devils (29-25-4), who were loudly booed by the crowd at the Prudential Center during the third period. Their favorite team has lost six of their last eight matches (4-5-1).

The veteran winger scored his 25th goal of the season during a power-play situation, an aspect New Jersey has sorely lacked in recent weeks.

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Lindy Ruff's men continued to struggle with the frequency with which they allowed the first goal. By allowing Hedman to break the ice, they trailed 1-0 for the 42nd time in 58 games. This is the first percentage this year at Pitman Circuit.

Crosby takes matters into his own hands

A few hours later, Sidney Crosby was also inspiring, as he also collected four points, as the Pittsburgh Penguins held on for a 7-6 win over the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Pens captain helped save the day for his club, which blew a 4-2 lead late in the second period to return to the locker room tied with its Pennsylvania rival.

In the final third, the two teams continued to exchange goals frequently. Quebec's Christopher Letang was responsible for giving the Penguins some breathing room by restoring a two-goal lead with 4:20 left in the game.

But the penalty kick imposed on Crosby in the final period opened the door for the last time for the visitors, who added the sixth goal this afternoon at 17:57 of the third period.

Crosby surpassed the 60-point mark (32-28) in his 55th game this season. Brian Rust collected three points (1-2), while their line partner Rickard Rakell scored for the first time in 16 games.

But Rust was forced to leave the confrontation early in the final period. Riley Smith was called up to replace him alongside Crosby and Rakell.

Goalies Cale Petersen and Tristan Jarry had miserable afternoons, giving up seven goals on 32 shots and six goals on 22 shots, respectively.

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Pittsburgh (26-21-8), which won its last two matches, is trying to cling to the hope of climbing the standings and participating in the playoffs.

Emil Bemstrom, who was acquired from the Columbus Blue Jackets earlier this week, opened his account in his first game in a Penguins uniform.

Philadelphia (30-22-7) had to do without the services of top scorer Travis Konecny ​​for the second straight game.

Defenseman Travis Sanheim scored twice in the loss, as did rookie forward Tyler Forster, while Scott Laughton scored shorthanded. The Flyers dominate the NHL in this regard. They have 14 nets recorded at a distance less than a man.