Whether it was scoring two goals, assisting on a third, disrupting the opponent's offensive flow with solid defensive play or delivering a crushing - and controversial - hit on Devils defenseman Sami Vatanen, Kucherov was at the heart of the Lightning's 3-1 victory in Game 4 of their first-round playoff series against New Jersey.
Kucherov told reporters he was "pissed off" after Tampa's 5-2 loss to the Devils in Game 3 Monday and carried that into Wednesday's contest.
Tampa Bay leads the series three games to one and can close it out Saturday afternoon on home ice in Game 5. But if the Devils get eliminated in this round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, it won't be due to a lack of enthusiasm from a classic Seinfeld character. Outplayed them a lot of times, they've outplayed us at times.
Cory Schneider made 34 saves in his second straight start for New Jersey after replacing Keith Kinkaid in the third period in Game 3. New Jersey has always been the long shot in this series, but there could be as many as three games left - it's far from over, a New Jersey fan might say. He has one goal, seven hits and four blocked shots while averaging 19:14 of ice time in four games. Devils coach John Hynes screamed at the officials after the play but declined to talk about it after the game. Steven Stamkos fed Kucherov entering the zone and he found Miller on the left side for a shot over Schneider's shoulder.
For the first time in the series, the Devils scored first with Palmieri converting from the left circle with the Lightning playing two men short at 8:23 of the first.
Alex Killorn got the first penalty at 7:47 with a hook and 25 seconds later Cedric Paquette tripped Taylor Hall.
The New Jersey Devils have been badly outplayed in this series and have been outscored 10-5 in the two road games. He also added 40 minutes in penalties.