The Tampa Bay Lightning have been the best team in the NHL by a wide margin this season. So after losing their previous game to the Toronto Maple Leafs, it was no surprise that they came back with a huge effort Saturday night against the San Jose Sharks.
The Lightning got the best of Sharks by a 6-3 margin, and they were led by Steven Stamkos, who scored two goals. Stamkos has 26 goals for the season, and he has scored 25 goals or more nine times in his career.
The Vegas Golden Knights asserted themselves Saturday night with a big 7-3 win over Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Jonathan Marchessault scored a hat trick as the second-year team moved to within one point of the second-place Sharks in the Pacific Division with 62 points.
Saturday's NHL scores
Anaheim Ducks 3, New Jersey Devils 2
Colorado Avalanche 7, Los Angeles Kings 1
New York Rangers 3, Boston Bruins 2
Dallas Stars 4, Winnipeg Jets 2
Philadelphia Flyers 5, Montreal Canadiens 2
St. Louis Blues 3, Ottawa Senators 2
Tampa Bay Lightning 6, San Jose Sharks 3
Florida Panthers 4, Nashville Predators 2
Minnesota Wild 2, Columbus Blue Jackets 1
Vegas Golden Knights 7, Pittsburgh Penguins 3
Calgary Flames 5, Edmonton Oilers 2
Terry Scores 1st Goal as Ducks Beat Devils
Rantanen Scores 2 as Avs Rout Kings
Rask Hurt in Bruins Loss to Rangers
Flyers Earn 4th win in Past 5 Behind 2 Goals from Patrick
Stamkos Fires Home 2 Goals in Win over Sharks
Gaudreau Leads Flames to Win over Oilers in Battle of Alberta
NHL Public Relations @PR_NHL
Johnny Gaudreau extended his point streak to a career-high 11 games. Longest point streaks by @NHLFlames player since 1994-95: 16 GP - Jarome Iginla in 1999-00 15 GP - Jarome Iginla in 2001-02 15 GP - Kristian Huselius in 2006-07 11 GP - @johngaudreau03 #NHLStats https://t.co/CEURVMU1lD
Marchessault Nets Hat Trick as Golden Knights Down Penguins
Lightning Goes into Extended Break with Another Victory
The Tampa Bay Lightning are not about to let a strong first half lull them into any complacency.
After dropping a 4-2 decision at home to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night, the Lightning improved their record to 37-10-2 with a 6-3 triumph over the San Jose Sharks.
Stamkos pounded home two goals in the victory, while NHL scoring leader Nikita Kucherov added two assists. Defenseman Victor Hedman scored a goal and also had an assist in the decisive win over the Sharks. San Jose remains in first place in the Pacific Division.
"It's been a lot of fun contributing to the team with the season we've been having so far as a team," Stamkos said, per the Associated Press (h/t CBSSports.com). "I got off to a little bit of a slow start, but I feel in rounding out my game, I've found myself putting myself into better positions to create offense and score some more goals."
The Lightning got the win in their last game before the extended break that all teams will take at various points in the regular season. In addition to that time off, the NHL will play its All-Star game on Saturday, and the Lightning won't return to action until January 30, when they face the Pittsburgh Penguins on the road.
Golden Knights Get the best of Penguins Behind Marchessault Hat Trick
The Vegas Golden Knights continue to surge in the Western Conference.
Facing a tough game against Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Golden Knights seized control with four straight goals and earned a 7-3 victory. Vegas improved to 16-4-3 at home this season.
Marchessault had a dominant game, as he broke a 3-3 tie at the 12:26 mark of the second period. He scored again less than four minutes later, giving Vegas a 5-3 lead.
The former Florida Panther completed his hat trick by firing home an empty-net goal with 21 seconds remaining.
The loss was the third in four games for the Penguins, who had won 10 of 11 before this cold streak.
Marc-Andre Fleury recorded 34 saves as he earned the victory over his former team.
Sunday's NHL Schedule
Washington Capitals at Chicago Blackhawks, 12:30 p.m.
Anaheim Ducks at New York Islanders, 3 p.m.
Detroit Red Wings at Vancouver Canucks, 4 p.m.
Arizona Coyotes at Toronto Maple Leafs, 7 p.m.
Carolina Hurricanes at Edmonton Oilers, 10 p.m.
All times ET.