Stamkos leads Lightning past Avalanche 5-2
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Steven Stamkos had a goal and two assists, and the Tampa Bay Lightning became the first NHL team with 20 wins by defeating the Colorado Avalanche 5-2 on Thursday night.
Stamkos, who entered with one goal and two assists over his previous eight games, got his 12th goal early in the first. He also assisted on Vladislav Namestnikov’s tiebreaking goal at 8:09 of the second and Alex Killorn’s third of the season 4:57 into the third.
Chris Kunitz and Brayden Point also scored for the Lightning, and backup Peter Budaj made 28 saves in his fifth game this season.
Colorado left wing Gabriel Landeskog, back in the lineup after serving a four-game suspension for cross-checking Calgary’s Matthew Tkachuk in the head on Nov. 25, eluded Nikita Kucherov and scored on his first shift 1:21 into the game.
Erik Johnson also scored for the Avalanche, who were coming off a 1-4 homestand. Semyon Varlamov stopped 27 shots.
BOSTON (AP) — David Backes scored his first two goals of the season, powering the Bruins to the runaway win.
It was Backes’ fourth game back after he missed 12 straight following surgery to remove part of his colon. The veteran forward scored his first goal with Boston on a tip-in 13:54 into the second period and then added another goal with 54 seconds left in the period.
Brad Marchand scored 15 seconds into the game for the Bruins, who won for the seventh time in nine games. David Krejci, Danton Heinen and Anders Bjork also scored, and Tuukka Rask made 20 saves.
Christian Dvorak had an unassisted goal for Arizona, and Scott Wedgewood made 26 stops.