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Nikita Kucherov nets a pair as Lightning scorch Edmonton Oilers

Edmonton Oilers goaltender Al Montoya (35) makes a save on a shot from Tampa Bay Lightning center J.T. Miller (10) during the second period of an NHL hockey game Sunday, March 18, 2018, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken).
Edmonton Oilers goaltender Al Montoya (35) makes a save on a shot from Tampa Bay Lightning center J.T. Miller (10) during the second period of an NHL hockey game Sunday, March 18, 2018, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken). AP Photo/Jason Behnken

Nikita Kucherov scored twice to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning past the Edmonton Oilers 3-1 Sunday afternoon.

Ty Rattie put the Oilers on the board only 14 seconds into the game, his centring pass deflecting in off the pad of Lightning goalie Louis Domingue. Rattie was once again on the Oilers top line with Connor McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

Tampa Bay tied it later in the period, with Victor Hedman’s point shot deflecting off Rattie’s stick and going right inside the post.

READ MORE: Ty Rattie could get top line chance when Edmonton Oilers visit Florida Panthers

Early in the second, Kucherov popped a power-play shot right under the crossbar for his 35th of the season.

The Oilers had several excellent scoring chances on a power play midway through the third period, but couldn’t beat Louis Domingue. Kucherov whacked in his second of the game during a goal-mouth scramble with 8:26 remaining.

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The Oilers had two more power-play chances late in the game, including a 28-second five-on-three, but couldn’t cash in.

LISTEN: Todd McLellan on 630 CHED

“We can talk a lot about the chances, the shots [and] the looks we had, but it’s still gotta get a goal,” Oilers head coach Todd McLellan said.

“That’s been the tale of the tape a little bit with the power play. I think we had 14 shots on goal and a number of missed attempts or opportunities,” he added.

“When we lost [Andrej] Sekera, they kind of smelled blood and went after our back end a little bit quicker. Right now they’re a better team than we are. We see the work that we have to do to catch up. It will be done, but at this point both teams played back-to-back and I thought they had a little more in the gas tank than we did.”

Kucherov leads the NHL with 93 points. McDavid, Nathan MacKinnon, and Evgeni Malkin are next with 89. Al Montoya made 37 saves while Domingue finished with 29.

LISTEN: Al Montoya on 630 CHED

Montoya said despite the loss he still feels good. “You know, I stick to my game. I try to give the team a chance,” Montoya said. “This team could score goals and that’s fun when you’re a goalie. You go out there, you just react, make the saves and let the team take care of the rest.”

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READ MORE: Edmonton Oilers rally in third to upend Florida Panthers

The Oilers, currently sitting 31-36-5, will visit Carolina on Tuesday.