The Tampa Bay Lightning keep losing top scorers despite routinely picking up wins.
Victorious in five of their last six games, the Lightning look to continue their good fortune on Friday night when they host the expansion Seattle Kraken.
With forwards Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov sidelined, the Lightning lost two of their top three scorers from two seasons ago in the first of their back-to-back runs to the Stanley Cup title.
Kucherov was out all of last regular season after hip surgery.
Captain Steven Stamkos collected a goal and two assists in Tuesday’s 4-0 home win over the Philadelphia Flyers. While that’s not out of the norm, the Lightning also received scoring from defenseman Zach Bogosian and veteran Corey Perry.
Bogosian, who missed 11 straight games after playing in the season opener, scored the first goal of the game Tuesday — his first tally of the season — and added an assist on the second.
Perry’s first goal of the season extended Tampa Bay’s lead to 3-0 in the second period.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Perry, a 50-goal, 98-point standout with the Anaheim Ducks in 2010-11. “There was a lot of chances — pucks were bouncing just an inch away.”
Perry has skated at right wing on a third line with left wing Pat Maroon and center Pierre-Edouard Bellemare.
Said Stamkos on the Bally Sports Sun broadcast: “I think we were all happy to see him finally get one. He could have about 10 goals this year. He has been great and that line has been outstanding.
“We need guys to step up. We’re obviously missing some very good players in our lineup.”
Seattle heads east for the second time this season after going 1-3-1 in a season-opening road trip.
The Kraken open a four-game trek with two contests in the Sunshine State against Tampa Bay and Florida (Saturday) before going to Buffalo (Monday) and Detroit (Wednesday).
Seattle left behind an indelible memory Wednesday night for its boisterous home crowd of 17,151.
Marcus Johansson circled around the Carolina net and scored the go-ahead goal with 3:08 left in the third period.
The Kraken held on for a 2-1 win over a foe with one of the best records in the NHL.
Coach Dave Hakstol spoke highly of his group’s ability to rally from a one-goal deficit after Carolina’s Brendan Smith tallied late in the first period. Jared McCann knotted it 1-1 on a power-play goal in the middle period before Johansson’s go-ahead goal.
“That’s playing against a good hockey team,” Hakstol said. “We believe we’re a good hockey team and that was a hard-fought game. We went down by one but it didn’t shake or rattle us.”
Jordan Eberle tops Seattle with nine goals, while McCann — who tallied in back-to-back games — has eight on the season.
“That’s guys wanting to win,” McCann said. “Like I said, we got the guys in here to do it. And we just got to bring it every single game.”