Steven Stamkos, Mathieu Joseph net 2 apiece; Lightning thrash Predators for 6th straight win

Steven Stamkos had two goals and an assist, Mathieu Joseph scored twice and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 32 saves to lead the streaking Tampa Bay Lightning past the Nashville Predators 6-1 on Tuesday night.
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Steven Stamkos had two goals and an assist, Mathieu Joseph scored twice and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 32 saves to lead the streaking Tampa Bay Lightning past the Nashville Predators 6-1 on Tuesday night.

Ondrej Palat and Yanni Gourde also scored for the Stanley Cup champions, who have won six straight games — the longest active streak in the NHL. Four of those wins have come against the Predators in the last 11 days.

Rocco Grimaldi had the lone goal for Nashville, which has lost five of six. Juuse Saros made 24 saves.

Grimaldi opened the scoring 4:43 in, but Tampa Bay rattled off three goals in 2:35 beginning with Stamkos’ goal at 11:28 of the first period. Palat followed with a power-play goal at 12:31 and Joseph, celebrating his 24th birthday, concluded the scoring in the opening period at 14:03.

Vasilevskiy, rested Monday for the first time since last March, looked sharp in the second game of the back-to-back set between the teams. Curtis McElhinney made his first appearance Monday in 11 months and backstopped the Lightning to a 4-1 victory over the Predators.

Nashville appeared to draw within one late in the second, but a coach’s challenge wiped out Colton Sissons‘ goal when the play was deemed offside.

Gourde made it 4-1 at 6:40 of the third, scoring off the rebound of Mikhail Sergachev‘s shot. Stamkos and Joseph later converted both ends of a double-minor high-sticking call on Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis.

POINT STREAK

Lightning center Brayden Point had three assists, extending his point streak to six games. He has at least one point in all but one of Tampa Bay’s 11 games this season.

Sergachev also had three assists for the Lightning. He has four in his last two games.

MALONE’S DEBUT IN GOLD

Nashville recalled center Sean Malone from the taxi squad and inserted him into the lineup. It was the Harvard alum’s second NHL game, coming nearly four years after the Buffalo native made his debut with his hometown Sabres on April 8, 2017.

Malone quickly got his first career point, picking up the primary assist on Grimaldi’s goal.

FAVORITE FOE

Stamkos extended his point streak against the Predators to six games. Tampa Bay’s captain has 10 points (six goals, four assists) in his last six games against Nashville. Including an empty-net goal Monday night, Stamkos has scored in all four games versus the Predators this season.

KUNIN RETURNS

Luke Kunin returned to Nashville’s lineup after missing four games with a lower-body injury. Nick Cousins and Erik Haula came out of the Predators’ lineup. Both played in Nashville’s first 12 games, with Cousins scoring once and adding four assists, and Haula posting four assists.

WHAT’S NEXT

Tampa Bay returns to the Sunshine State for a pair of road games against the Florida Panthers on Thursday and Saturday.

The Predators remain in Nashville for games against the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday and Saturday.