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Cirelli gets 1st hat trick, Lightning throttle Jets

Anthony Cirelli collected his first career hat trick and Nikita Kucherov scored twice to lead the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning to a one-sided 7-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Friday night.

Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy made 30 saves to claim his 10th consecutive win for Tampa Bay, while Ondrej Palat collected three assists and Brayden Point and Steven Stamkos had two-point games.

Cirelli started the rout just before the midway point of the opening frame when he was the trailer on the play and one-timed Palat's drop pass past Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck. Kucherov added to the lead when he and Stamkos played give-and-go during a two-on-zero rush at the 12:21 mark. Then Cirelli collected a backhanded tally with 52.4 seconds remaining in the first period to make it 3-0 at first intermission.

The visitors didn't let up in the second, and Kucherov made it 4-0 at the 7:21 mark of the period when he finished off a cross-ice pass from Point for his second goal of the game and eighth in the last seven outings.

Tampa wasn't done yet. Carter Verhaeghe's sixth goal of the season made it a 5-0 edge at the 11:10 mark of the middle frame, and spelled the end of the game for Hellebuyck, who made just seven saves and was pulled in favor of Laurent Brossoit.

Jack Roslovic put the Jets on the board 34 seconds later when Mathieu Perreault intercepted a pass and set him up at the doorstep, but Cirelli completed the hat trick in the third period when he sent a pass that was redirected by Winnipeg's Dmitry Kulikov past Brossoit at the 7:48 mark of the third.

Alex Killorn buried a rebound three minutes later to give him his first 20-goal season and 300th career point while also rounding out the scoring.

The win came at a cost for the Lightning, though. Forward Cedric Paquette left in the second period after appearing to injure his ankle.

Brossoit made 12 saves for the Jets, who have lost three of four games.

--Field Level Media

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