Brayden Point scored twice in the first period as the Tampa Bay Lightning tallied three times in just over eight minutes, beating the red-hot St. Louis Blues 5-2 on Black Friday night.
Alex Killorn, Nicholas Paul and Brandon Hagel each scored and added an assist. Nikita Kucherov dished out three helpers. Lightning captain Steven Stamkos added two assists, extending his season-long point streak to six games (three goals, seven assists).
Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 25 of 27 shots and moved his mark to 8-6-1 as the Lightning bounced back from a 5-3 loss to the Boston Bruins on Monday night. They improved to 5-1-0 in their past six matches and are 7-3-1 on home ice.
They also moved their slate to 6-2-0 against the Western Conference and 3-0-0 against the Central Division.
For the Blues, Pavel Buchnevich had a goal and an assist, and Jordan Kyrou also had a goal and an assist. Robert Thomas had two assists, and goalie Jordan Binnington allowed four markers on 26 shots as they lost for just the second time in nine games (7-2-0).
In the first meeting between the teams, the Blues brought the physicality early. St. Louis defenseman Niko Mikkola knocked Tampa Bay fourth-line left winger Rudolfs Balcers out of the game with a hard check and crash into the boards at 2:06.
The Lightning soon made their point with skill -- scoring twice in a span of 28 seconds. Point, who also had an assist for a three-point night, whipped in the game's first marker off a turnover in the St. Louis defensive end. Then Killorn took a neat pass from Paul and easily potted his seventh goal at 3:57 for a 2-0 edge.
The tensions between the two sides heightened even more when Robert Bortuzzo crashed into Vasilevskiy at 5:30. The teams then fought in the corner, leading to a four-on-four scenario. Point's second goal -- his eighth -- came on an ensuing power play and had the Lightning up 3-0 just 8:04 into the match.
Buchnevich's sixth goal came on the Blues' first power play, giving them life late in the opening frame.
Kyrou scored for the seventh time to bring the deficit to 3-2 early in the second, but Hagel answered with his sixth marker just 18 seconds later to restore the two-goal edge.
Paul's shot into an empty net at 16:12 was his ninth tally and rounded out the scoring.
--Field Level Media