TAMPA, FLORIDA – Anton Stralman insisted the surging Tampa Bay Lightning didn’t derive any extra satisfaction out of beating the Chicago Blackhawks to end a franchise-record 12-game winning streak for the defending Stanley Cup champions.
“No, not really,” the veteran defenseman said after the Lightning extended a roll of their own to a season-best seven games with a 2-1 victory Thursday night. “It’s all about our winning streak now.”
Stralman’s sixth goal of the season erased an early deficit and Nikita Kucherov snapped a second-period tie with his 20th goal for the Lightning, who will try to match the longest winning streak in club history Saturday night at Florida.
“This might have been our best game all season. We played for 60 minutes,” Stralman said. “This is the way we want to play, obviously. This is how we can play.”
Ben Bishop had 17 saves as the Blackhawks were held to a season-low 18 shots. Corey Crawford stopped 31 shots to keep the visitors in the game, but it wasn’t enough to extend a career-best nine-game winning streak for the Chicago goaltender.
“They were definitely the better team,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. “We didn’t generate much. We didn’t get much traffic and pucks to the net and didn’t get the offensive zone time we like. We had a few shifts, but they were few and far between.”
The victory gave Tampa Bay a split of the season series with the Blackhawks, who won last year’s Stanley Cup final against the Lightning in six games.
“That was a fun game. Obviously it brought back memories of last year,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “They are a really good team. We played extremely well to beat them. . . . One streak was ending tonight and I’m glad it’s theirs.”
Stralman scored in the first period and Victor Hedman had two assists for Tampa Bay. Artem Anisimov scored Chicago’s lone goal in the opening minute of the game.
The Blackhawks went 0-for- 3 on the power play and were held to the lowest shot total since taking 19 during a 2-1 overtime loss at Calgary on Nov. 20.
Wild 3, Kings 0
In Los Angeles, Zach Parise scored Minnesota’s first power-play goal in January, and Darcy Kuemper made 32 saves in his seventh career shutout.
Canucks 4, Bruins 2
In Boston, Daniel Sedin became Vancouver’s career leader in goals with 348, scoring twice in the third period.
Devils 6, Senators 3
In Newark, New Jersey, Travis Zajac had a goal and three assists, Kyle Palmieri scored twice, and the Devils scored five times in the first period against Ottawa.
New Jersey’s Joseph Blandisi scored his first NHL goal and had two assists.
Penguins 4, Flyers 3
In Pittsburgh, Phil Kessel scored twice and Sidney Crosby had a goal and an assist as the Penguins beat Philadelphia to end an eight-game winless streak against their cross-state rival.
Flames 4, Blue Jackets 2
In Columbus, rookie Sam Bennett scored twice and Johnny Gaudreau had the tiebreaking goal to lead Calgary past the Blue Jackets.
Hurricanes 1, Leafs 0 (OT)
In Toronto, Jordan Staal tallied on a rebound in overtime, Eddie Lack stopped 31 shots and Carolina downed the Maple Leafs.
Predators 4, Jets 1
In Winnipeg, Ryan Johansen kept up his hot play since being traded with a goal and an assist to lead Nashville over the Jets.
Stars 3, Oilers 1
In Dallas, Jamie Benn scored his 27th goal, and the Stars beat Edmonton to end a season-high four-game slide.
Sharks 3, Coyotes 1
In Glendale, Tommy Wingels and Chris Tierney scored first-period goals, Martin Jones stopped 23 shots and San Jose beat the slumping hosts.