OTTAWA Thomas Vanek Jersey , Ontario (AP) Nikita Kucherov and the Tampa Bay Lightning are back atop the NHL.Kucherov had two assists to reach 80 points this season and Tampa Bay defeated the Ottawa Senators 4-3 on Thursday night.Tyler Johnson, Victor Hedman, Vladislav Namestnikov and Brayden Point scored for the Lightning (41-17-3), who leapfrogged expansion Vegas to regain the top spot in the overall standings with 85 points. Louis Domingue earned his third win by stopping 33 shots.Kucherov, the NHL’s leading scorer, has 32 goals and 48 assists in 61 games.Ryan Dzingel, Mark Borowiecki and Derick Brassard scored for the Senators (21-29-10), who are 0-2-1 in their last three games. Craig Anderson made 20 saves.The loss snapped the Senators’ five-game winning streak on home ice. And with Monday afternoon’s trade deadline quickly approaching, Ottawa players are finding it difficult to stay focused.”There’s definitely a little bit of anxiety in here,” Borowiecki said.”You’d be foolish to say that it’s not playing a bit of a role. I’ve been here four years now and this is the most rumors I’ve seen for a lot of guys, a lot of core guys in here, and you really do your best to cut it out, but we’re all humans. At some point it’s going to creep in a little bit.”Brassard made it a one-goal game by scoring on the power play with just more than two minutes remaining, but the Senators were unable to complete the comeback.Brassard is one of a handful of Ottawa players who has been mentioned in trade speculation and he said it’s hard to ignore the talk.”We have a couple of days before the deadline, but we have to play, we have to do our job and we have to play for each other and the rest will take care of itself,” Brassard said.”We all have phones and social media, and even on TV. It’s part of the business. I’ve been there before and there’s nothing you can do. You try to block it and try to play. We’re still trying to get better as a team and still trying to push. We just have to come here and basically play and whatever is going to happen Monday is going to happen and you just move on after.”Ottawa made it 4-2 midway through the third as Borowiecki, with his third of the season, had a wide-open net after catching Domingue out of position. The goal was initially waved off due to goaltender interference, but the Senators challenged and upon review it was ruled a good goal.The Lightning took a 3-1 lead three minutes into the second as Kucherov fed Namestnikov, who was able to break in alone and beat Anderson.Ottawa had a number of chances to try and close the gap, but couldn’t beat Domingue.Tampa Bay made it 4-1 with less than a second left in the second period when Point was left all alone in front and scored his 24th of the season.The Lightning opened the scoring midway through the period as Johnson beat Anderson high from long range. Chris Kunitz got his 600th career point with an assist.Ottawa tied the game at the 14-minute mark as Dzingel showed off some sweet stick work and tucked a puck in behind Domingue for his 16th of the season.Less than two minutes later, the Lightning regained the lead as they hemmed the Senators in their own end and Hedman beat Anderson through the legs from in close.Bobby Ryan returned to the Senators’ lineup after missing 10 games with a hand injury.NOTES: LW Max McCormick and D Fredrik Claesson were healthy scratches for the Senators. … Tampa Bay D Andrej Sustr and C Cory Conacher were healthy scratches.UP NEXTLightning: Saturday night at Montreal.Senators: Host the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday afternoon.— CHICAGO (AP) The playoff field for the Western Conference is almost set.Patrik Berglund and St. Louis are going to Colorado to try for the final spot.Berglund scored three times to help the Blues beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-1 on Friday night, setting up a showdown with the Avalanche for the conference’s last wild card.”When you have to win your last game, it’s intense,” Blues coach Mike Yeo said. ”Obviously there’s lot of pressure. I hope our guys embrace that because it’s going to be a fun game.”Carter Hutton made 19 saves as St. Louis stopped a three-game slide that included a 4-3 home loss to Chicago on Wednesday night on Duncan Keith’s power-play goal with 8.5 seconds left. Jaden Schwartz also scored in the third after an ugly turnover by the Blackhawks.St. Louis (44-31-6) moved one point ahead of idle Colorado (42-30-9) heading into their finale Saturday night. The Blues have won three of four against the Avalanche this season.Colorado needs a regulation win to make it to the postseason, while St. Louis takes the spot if it goes to overtime.”Final game Adam Larsson Jersey , 82 all on the line at Denver,” Hutton said.Erik Gustafsson scored for Chicago, and Jean-Francois Berube made 31 saves. The last-place Blackhawks (33-38-10) finished with an 18-18-5 record at home.Veteran forward Patrick Sharp got the start in what was likely his final game at the United Center. The 36-year-old Sharp, who has 10 goals and 11 assists in his 15th NHL season, said he probably will retire after the finale Saturday night in his native Winnipeg.”It’s never easy, but I’m just ready to take that next step in my life, and I’m looking forward to it,” Sharp said.The team honored Sharp with a highlight video in the third period, and he waved his stick and tapped his heart to acknowledge the sustained roar from what was left of the announced crowd of 22,218. With his parents, wife and children watching from the stands, he took another spin around the rink after the game was over and waved as the crowd cheered again.”It was a tough game out there, tough to concentrate with what was going on inside my head,” said Sharp, a key part of three Stanley Cup-winning teams in Chicago. ”But thankful that I was able to do that. The Hawks put that video on for me in the third which was really special. The guys staying on the ice and making me do a lap was something I’ll always remember. So, special night.”Berglund redirected a shot by Joel Edmundson past Berube with 1:43 left in the first period. The Blues carried the 1-0 lead into the third, but Gustafsson whipped a wrist shot by Hutton on the stick side at 8:08.Just 16 seconds later, Berglund swept in from the side and poked home a rebound for his 16th of the season. After Brayden Schenn set up Schwartz’s one-timer at 12:40, Berglund added an empty-netter to complete his second career hat trick.”I think we all played a pretty good game today,” Berglund said. ”It’s good for everybody’s confidence and now we know what we have to do tomorrow.”NOTES: The Blackhawks honored Hall of Fame forward Stan Mikita with ”One More Shift” before the game. The 77-year-old Mikita, who is the franchise’s career leader in games played, points and assists and is second in goals to Bobby Hull, has a brain disorder called Lewy body dementia, so his three grandsons represented him on the ice for the national anthem. … Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews missed his seventh straight game with an upper-body injury. Anthony Duclair (lower body), John Hayden (upper body) and Tomas Jurco (illness) also were scratched, and Chicago went with seven defensemen. … The Blues scratched G Jake Allen, and G Ville Husso was the backup for Hutton. Allen is expected to start against the Avalanche in the finale.UP NEXTBlues: Visit Colorado on Saturday night.Blackhawks: Visit Winnipeg on Saturday night.—Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap

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