Perry scores twice in Lightning win against Wild

TAMPA — Corey Perry scored two goals for the Tampa Bay Lightning in a 4-2 win against the Minnesota Wild at Amalie Arena on Tuesday.

Nikita Kucherov had a goal and an assist, and Ross Colton and Mikhail Sergachev each had two assists for Tampa Bay (30-15-1), which had lost two straight but has won 10 in a row at home. Andrei Vasilevsky made 33 saves for his 250th NHL victory.

“It was big boy hockey out there tonight,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “It was a fun game to be a part of.”

Video: MIN@TBL: Stamkos gets a great bounce and scores

Joel Eriksson Ek had a goal and an assist for Minnesota (25-17-4), which has lost three straights. Marc-Andre Fleury made 35 saves.

“I thought we responded extremely well. We all thought it was a great hockey game,” Wild coach Dean Evason said. “Did we mistake some mistakes? Sure. But did we compete ours [butts] off? Yeah.

“Truly, if we play like that every night, we’ll give ourselves a better chance to win than we will to lose.”

Eriksson Ek gave the Wild a 1-0 lead at 3:43 of the second period, scoring short-handed on a breakaway after the Lightning turned over the puck at the blue line.

“We played hard, we played gritty,” Minnesota defenseman Jake Middleton he said. “The physicality was there, the will in the [defensive] zone was there. We just fell short this time.”

Video: MIN@TBL: Eriksson Ek fakes out defense and scores

Perry tied it 1-1 at 9:44 with a deflection of Colton’s one-timer shortly after a power play expired.

“The first one was definitely going 10 feet wide,” Colton said. “Credit to him, that was an unbelievable tip.”

Kirill Kaprizov put the Wild back in front 2-1 at 11:42, converting a rebound in the slot on a power play.

Perry tied it 2-2 with his own power-play goal at 18:05, again scoring on a deflection of Colton’s shot in front.

“I’ve been working on it in practice, taking a lot of shots down in front, and it paid off tonight,” Perry said. “I don’t know if I was trying to get out of the way or what, but it hit my stick and I’ll take it.”

Video: MIN@TBL: Perry scores PPG in 2nd period

Steven Stamkos gave Tampa Bay a 3-2 lead at 14:22 of the third period. Sergachev’s initial pass to Stamkos in the slot hit off two Wild defenders and ricocheted near the right post, where Stamkos shot it into the net off the chest of Ryan Hartman.

“It was a good puck possession breakout,” Stamkos said. “A little bit of a broken play. For all the good plays that don’t go in you are rewarded for one like that.”

Kucherov scored an empty-net goal at 19:43 for the 4-2 final.

“I thought we played pretty good,” Fleury said. “That’s a good team and we hung with them. It’s a tough loss for sure.”

Prior to the game, Tampa Bay honored Stamkos for scoring his 500th NHL goal in a 5-2 win at the Vancouver Canucks on Jan. 18.

The tribute included a video message from Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin and Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosbythe other two active players in the League with at least 500 goals.

“It’s great to be at home and celebrate that with my family, my teammates, the coaching staff. They were great tonight,” Stamkos said. “Obviously, a ton of respect for those guys. Those guys are legends in our game, and to be one of the three active guys with those two guys is pretty surreal.”

NOTES: Tampa Bay is one game shy of tying its record for longest home winning streak (11 from Dec. 23, 2019, to Feb. 15, 2020). … Stamkos extended his goal streak to four games (six goals) and his point streak to nine (seven goals, six assists). … Vasilevskiy has played 399 games, the second-fewest needed to reach 250 wins in NHL history (Ken Dryden, 381). … Eriksson Ek has six points (three goals, three assists) during a four-game point streak. … Minnesota has scored eight short-handed goals this season, second in the NHL to the Philadelphia Flyers (nine).

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