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Kucherov becomes 5th player in NHL history to get 100 assists in season



Kucherov becomes 5th player in NHL history to get 100 assists in season

TAMPA — Nikita Kucherov grew to become the fifth participant in NHL historical past, and the second this season, to have 100 assists in a season Wednesday.

The Tampa Bay Lightning ahead reached the milestone when he arrange Brayden Level’s power-play aim at 17:05 of the second interval in a 6-4 victory towards the Toronto Maple Leafs at Amalie Enviornment. Kucherov faked a one-timer from the correct circle and handed to Level, who scored on a wrist shot from the slot to provide the Lightning a 4-1 lead.

“It is a particular second,” Kucherov stated. “Because of my teammates and training employees for placing me in place to have success. I am lucky to play with nice gamers. It is a good second.”

Kucherov joins Wayne Gretzky (11 instances), Mario Lemieux (1988-89), Bobby Orr (1970-71) and Connor McDavid (2023-24) as gamers to have finished it. McDavid hit the mark Monday with an help for the Edmonton Oilers towards the San Jose Sharks.

Earlier than that, Gretzky was the final participant to do it when he had 122 assists within the 1991-92 season.

The one different time two gamers had 100 assists in the identical season was 1988-89, when Gretzky and Lemieux every had 114.

Lightning coach Jon Cooper stated Gretzky despatched him a textual content message after the sport.

“The primary textual content message I bought once I checked after the sport,” Cooper stated. “The category act that [Gretzky] is … simply glowing feedback about Nikita Kucherov. It was fairly cool.”

It was Kucherov’s fortieth help on the facility play and Level’s fifteenth power-play aim this season.

“That is a play that he likes to make,” Level stated. “I simply caught it and shot it and hoped it went in. He gave me two seems to be within the slot earlier within the interval that [Martin] Jones made good saves on. I used to be a bit nervous. I used to be actually joyful to see it go in.”

Kucherov additionally scored within the first interval Wednesday and leads the NHL with 144 factors (44 targets, 100 assists). The five-time All-Star gained the Hart Trophy in 2019 and helped the Lightning win the Stanley Cup in 2020 and 2021.

This season, Kucherov additionally set NHL information for many assists by a wing and most factors by a Russia-born participant, breaking his personal file of 128 set in 2018-19.

“Forty-four targets this 12 months for himself to associate with 100 assists,” Level stated. “It is outstanding. Simply watching ‘Kuch’ day by day and seeing how he works, it is a tremendous quantity, nevertheless it’s not shocking with how exhausting and the way sensible he works.”

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