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Lightning, With 4 Points From Kucherov, Rout the Devils

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Nikita Kucherov had a goal and three assists for his first four-point game, leading the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 5-1 victory over the Devils on Monday night at Prudential Center.

Brayden Point had a goal and two assists, Steven Stamkos added a goal and an assist, and Tyler Johnson and Yanni Gourde and also scored to help the Lightning become the first team in the N.H.L. to reach 20 victories this season.

Ryan McDonagh had two assists and Louis Domingue stopped 26 shots as Tampa Bay got its third straight win and sixth in seven games.

Egor Yakovlev scored his first career goal for the Devils, who have lost six straight and eight of nine. Keith Kinkaid started and gave up four goals on 20 shots before he was pulled after two periods. Cory Schneider had five saves in the third.

“They are a heck of a hockey team,” Devils Coach John Hynes said. “They just outworked us.

The Devils, who lost in regulation at home for only the second time this season, outshot the Lightning, 7-1, over the first 10 minutes, but it did not take long for Tampa Bay, the league’s top offensive team, to get going.

First, Kucherov extended his points streak to 10 games with a goal with a little more than six minutes left in the first period on a 40-foot shot that seemed to handcuff Kinkaid.

Then Point scored a power-play goal with less than a minute remaining in the period. It was Point’s 20th goal of the season and his sixth goal in nine career games against the Devils.

The Lightning made it 3-0 when McDonagh’s wrist shot was deflected in front by Johnson for his 11th goal.

The Devils crept back into the game at 11 minutes 26 seconds of the second period when Yakovlev, a rookie defenseman, scored. But the Lightning wasted little time to push the lead back to three when Gourde scored his 10th just 1:13 later.

Stamkos scored a power-play goal in the first 20 seconds of the third on the first shot that Schneider faced. It was Stamkos’s ninth goal of the season.

FLYERS HIRE A G.M. The Philadelphia Flyers hired Chuck Fletcher as their general manager in hopes that he can resuscitate a team that has become one of the worst in the N.H.L. He is the team’s first G.M. with no ties to the Flyers since 1994.

“Our goal is to make the playoffs this year, it’s that simple,” Fletcher said. “We have work to do, and it will be a challenge.” The Flyers have not won the Stanley Cup in nearly 45 years.

Fletcher, who will replace the fired Ron Hextall, had been working as a senior adviser to the Devils after spending the last nine seasons as the general manager of the Minnesota Wild. The Wild had only two playoff series victories under Fletcher, a 25-year veteran of N.H.L. management, and did not renew his contract in April. They went 15-29 in the playoffs during Fletcher’s tenure, evidence that the roster was not built well enough despite the team’s regular-season success.

That did not dissuade the Flyers’ president, Paul Holmgren, from pursuing the 51-year-old Fletcher a week after ending Hextall’s four-and-a-half-season tenure. The Flyers are 11-12-2, and only the Devils have a worse record in the Eastern Conference. Holmgren fired Hextall, citing “philosophical differences” and an “unyielding” approach toward sticking with his methodical rebuilding plan.

Holmgren and the team’s parent company, Comcast Spectacor, want to win now and have squirmed as attendance has dipped and the team is losing a popularity contest to the 76ers, its fellow Wells Fargo Center tenant.

Fletcher will decide the fate of Coach Dave Hakstol, who has tried to mesh pricey veterans like Claude Giroux, Wayne Simmonds, Jake Voracek and James van Riemsdyk with young potential stars in Ivan Provorov, Shayne Gostisbehere and Nolan Patrick. The Flyers have also gone through five goalies this season.

“I certainly have no intention of making a coaching change tomorrow,” Fletcher said. “I’m going to meet with Dave, and we’re going to try to work together and push.”


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