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Monday, Oct 22, 2018
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Nikita Kucherov's start something to see

Yes, the Lightning lost in a shootout at New Jersey on Tuesday night, blowing a 4-3 lead late in the game.

But Nikita Kucherov kept his streak alive.

He scored his eighth goal of the season, and now has at least one goal in each of the 5-1-1 Lightning’s first seven games. His pursuit of DiMaggio continues.

Actually, it’s not DiMaggio. According to the NHL record book, the man Kucherov is chasing, and still trails badly, is Harry “Punch” Broadbent, a Hockey Hall of Famer who in the 1921-22 season scored a goal in 16 consecutive games. Broadbent was not available for comment.

Kucherov is taking our breath away.

He is sensational, an unstoppable force, one of the most dynamic players in hockey, and he looks every bit of that to start this season. You can’t take your eyes off him.

He and Steven Stamkos, who looks very much back, are a fearsome twosome, about the best in the league at the moment. Stamkos had a goal and two assists Tuesday. There’s magic on the ice when Kucherov and Stamkos are out there. It says this season could be special, very special.

Punch Broadbent, by all accounts, was one of the first true power forwards in hockey. One hockey history article noted that Broadbent “an artist with the puck, but he also gained a notorious reputation for using his elbows to make a point.” Those were the days.

He played for his hometown Ottawa Senators, the Montreal Maroons and the New York Americans, though his career was interrupted for three seasons while … he fought in World War I. He was awarded the Military Medal for his bravery overseas.

Nikita Kucherov’s fighting spirit isn’t up there with Punch. But he is mesmerizing just the same. None of us knows how long this streak will last. It could end as early as Thursday night at Columbus, bit if it keeps up, it would bring Sidney Crosby and the Penguins to Amalie Arena on Saturday night. The Lightning have already beaten the two-time defending Stanley Cup champs once this season.

It’s early, but this season could be something special.

Kucherov is all over that to start the season.

That goal-scoring streak is in the clouds. But who knows, Kucherov might have a Punch’s chance.

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