TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Brady Tkachuk had a goal and an assist in regulation and scored the only goal of the shootout as the Ottawa Senators beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 on Thursday night.

NHL points leader Nikita Kucherov had two assists for the Lightning to give him 98 this season as he looks to join Wayne Gretzky (11 times), Mario Lemieux (once) and Bobby Orr (once) as the only players with 100 or more assists in a season. The right wing has an eight-game point streak and 141 points this season.

“It’s incredible,” Lightning center Brayden Point said of Kucherov. “So dynamic. He’s unbelievable. Gives our team a chance to win every night.”

Drake Batherson also scored for the Senators, who have missed the postseason seven consecutive seasons. Anton Forsberg stopped 24 shots and faced Victor Hedman, Steven Stamkos and Point in the shootout.

“He was great,” Batherson said of Forsberg. “Made a huge stop there in overtime, some great ones in regulation and stops three really good players in the shootout.”

The Lightning have the first Eastern Conference wild card secured and are five points behind Toronto for third place in the Atlantic Division. Toronto lost 6-5 to New Jersey on Thursday night.

“When you look in the standings, (we) can’t go down and probably not going up, either,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “So, we’re kind of in our slot. This is all about preparation of getting our game in order, our team in order, and our mindset in order.”

Tampa Bay got goals from Conor Sheary and Point.

Tampa Bay rested starting goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy and Matt Tomkins made 25 saves in his fifth game of the season.

Batherson tied it at 2 early in the third.

After Tkachuk opened the scoring with his career-high tying 35th goal, Kucherov assisted on goals by Sheary and Point as Tampa Bay took a 2-1 first-period lead.

Sheary, a healthy scratch in six of the seven previous games, also had an assist.

The Senators went 3-1-0 against Tampa Bay this season, winning both games in Florida.

“We’re focused on finishing the season strong,” Batherson said. “We’re just looking to build up momentum.”

Ottawa held the Lightning’s league-best power play to 0 for 5.

Senators center Tim Stützle, tied with Tkachuk for the team points lead with 70, missed his fourth straight game with an upper-body injury.

Tampa Bay forward Tyler Motte left midway through the second after taking a shot off the side of his right foot and did not return. Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak also departed in the second when he took a shot off his right foot, but returned in the third.

Lightning captain Stamkos’ six-game goal streak ended.

Hedman received a two-minute hooking penalty and a 10-man misconduct at the end of the second.


Senators: Host Montreal on Saturday night in their home finale.

Lightning: Play at Washington on Saturday night.


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