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Kucherov’s hat trick helps Lightning beat Senators

Tampa Bay Lightning's Nikita Kucherov (86) celebrates a goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Ottawa Senators on Feb. 27, 2017, in Tampa, Fla.

Mike Carlson/AP

Nikita Kucherov scored three power-play goals in the second period and the Tampa Bay Lightning kept their fading playoff hopes alive with a 5-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Monday night.

Kucherov had the second hat trick of his career and added an assist in the third period. Jonathan Drouin assisted all three of his goals and Victor Hedman assisted on two.

A day after trading goaltender Ben Bishop to Los Angeles and just hours after trading forward Brian Boyle to Toronto, the Lightning improved to 6-1-2 over their past nine games.

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The Senators, who won at Florida on Sunday night, are 6-6 over their past 12 games.

Playing in his first game as a No. 1 goalie in the wake of the Bishop trade, Andrei Vasilevskiy survived a rough start to end a five-game losing streak (0-2-3).

Ottawa scored with a two-man advantage just 6:26 into the game, Kyle Turris converting his 22nd goal of the season with assists from Erik Karlsson and Mike Hoffman.

Brayden Point tied it with an unassisted goal early in the second period. The game changed abruptly at 5:16 when Ottawa's Mark Borowiecki and Tampa Bay's Braydon Coburn drew five-minute fighting penalties and the Senators' Tom Pyatt was called for hooking.

Kucherov scored his first goal of the game just 21 seconds later, marking the third straight game in which he has scored. He made it 3-1 at 10:26 of the period, and 4-1 with his 26th goal of the season with just 13.5 seconds remaining in the period.

Coburn scored the Lightning's final goal midway through the third period.

NOTES: The Senators acquired forward Alex Burrows from Vancouver for prospect Jonathan Dahlen, the 42nd pick in the 2016 draft. ... Steven Stamkos, who had right knee surgery in November, took part in the Lightning's morning skate and the team is hopeful he might return this season. ... Tests revealed a torn labrum for Ottawa goaltender Andrew Hammond, who is expected to have season-ending surgery next week. ... Tampa Bay got forward Byron Froese and a conditional second-round draft pick from the Maple Leafs for Boyle. Froese, 25, will be assigned to AHL Syracuse.

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UP NEXT

Senators: Host Colorado on Thursday night in the first of three straight home games.

Lightning: Will conclude a four-game homestand Wednesday night against Carolina.

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