Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Hockey Gods Were Smiling on Nikita Kucherov on Thursday in Tampa

Lady luck was kind to the Tampa Bay Lightning's Nikita Kucherov on Thursday as the 21-year-old Muscovite scored his 10th and 11th goals of the season (Tampa's only goals of the night) in bizarre fashion against the Carolina Hurricanes. First Kucherov opened the scoring by tapping in an errant bounce off the boards after an Anton Stralman dump-in for a power play goal (see vid below.

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Then, with the Bolts and Canes tied heading down the stretch, Kucherov netted his second goal when his attempted cross-ice feed was accidentally kicked into the net by Carolina defenseman Ron Hainsey's skate past a demoralized Cam Ward for the game winner (vid below). Poor Cam Ward. He did everything right tonight at Amalie Arena on Thursday and all he has to show for it is 25 saves and a 2-1 loss.

“It’s frustrating,” Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner said. “Obviously, Ward played a great game. It’s tough to let him down like that.”

As for Kucherov, he may want to go put a few thousand down on 21 red at his local casino, because it clearly was his lucky night.