Lightning move two games clear of Red Wings, Ducks hammer Predators


Nikita Kucherov continued to torment the Detroit Red Wings as his two-goal haul helped the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 3-2 win in game four of their round one NHL Stanley Cup play-offs series.

The Lightning now lead the series 3-1 and need just one more win as they return to home ice on Thursday.

Kucherov now has five goals in the series, and he scored the fourth of those just five minutes and 41 seconds into the match.

Tyler Johnson and Jonathan Drouin moved the puck well into the path of Kucherov, who had no trouble converting on the power play.

He added a second 10:31 into the second period on another power-play when he forced the puck over the goal-line from close range.

But the Red Wings had plenty of fight in them yet and they showed great grit to level the scores through Darren Helm and Gustav Nyquist.

The Lightning used the power play to great effect all night and they did again in the third period as Ondrej Palat scored a tip-in despite strong Detroit resistance.

The Anaheim Ducks cut into the Nashville Predators' two-game advantage in their series by winning game three with a huge 3-0 win.

Jamie McGinn, Rickard Rakell and Chris Stewart bagged the goals as the Ducks scored a huge win in Nashville.

The St. Louis Blues have taken a 3-1 lead in their series against reigning Stanley Cup champions the Chicago Blackhawks after another strong performance.

The Blues triumphed in Chicago in a 4-3 thriller.

Vladimir Tarasenko scored his second and third goals of the series, while Jaden Schwartz and Alexander Steen had the Blues 4-2 up, before Duncan Keith's third-period effort gave the Blackhawks some hope, only for St. Louis to hold out for the remainder of the game.

Elsewhere, the Pittsburgh Penguins took a 2-1 lead in their series against the New York Rangers as Sidney Crosby, Matt Cullen and Kris Letang scored in a 3-1 triumph.