NHL Hockey

Lightning top Coyotes 4-1 to clinch Presidents' Trophy

(AP Photo/Jason Behnken)

By ERIK ERLENDSSON

Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) The Tampa Bay Lightning earned one trophy on Monday night. Starting next month, they'll be one of the favorites in the chase for the Stanley Cup.

The Lightning clinched the Presidents' Trophy for the top regular-season mark in the league with a 4-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes.

The Lightning, who have 56 wins and 116 points, will try to become the ninth Presidents' Trophy winner to win the Cup. The Presidents' Trophy was first awarded by the NHL in 1985-86.

"Trophies are hard to win, they truly are," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "And when you win one you should be damn proud of it. I know there are a lot of teams that have not won that trophy and I think it's something you should embrace."

Lightning captain Steven Stamkos scored his 36th goal of the season and 384th of his career to become the Lightning franchise leader in goals, passing former Tampa Bay captain Vinny Lecavalier.

"I'm very honored and humbled to be a part of history like that," said Stamkos, who reached the record in 737 games. "Definitely happy it happened in a win and in a game like that where so many special things that happened."

Victor Hedman scored his 10th goal of the season while Anthony Cirelli and Yanni Gourde added empty-net short-handed goals in the final minute.

Andrei Vasilevskiy finished with 28 saves for his 36th victory of the season, tied for the league lead.

Clayton Keller scored his 14th of the season and Darcy Kuemper stopped 20 shots for Arizona, which remains one point ahead of Minnesota for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

"You're playing a number one and I thought we handled ourselves really well," Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said. "Guys played hard. They stuck to the system, inch here and there, couple of missed nets here and there and (the Lightning) get one to start the period. You're hoping it was one of those games that's an overtime game. I thought it was."

Keller opened the scoring 5:03 into the game, taking a drop pass from Christian Dvorak for a one-timer past Vasilevskiy. Stamkos tied the score 1:51 later, tipping Ryan McDonagh's shot.

Hedman put Tampa Bay in front for good 44 seconds into the third period while Cirelli notched his fifth short-handed goal of the season, tied for the league lead, with a shot from his own end with 44.8 seconds left. Gourde finished it off with 8.6 seconds left.

"It's probably one of the best games we have played in the season so it's kind of sour to walk away with no points to be honest with you," Arizona captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson said.

"I can't forget that we're playing against one of the best teams in the league and we matched them really, really good tonight."

NOTES: Lightning D Dan Girardi (lower body) and D Anton Stralman (lower body) each missed their fifth consecutive game. ... Tampa Bay recalled D Cameron Gaunce from Syracuse of the American Hockey League. ... Arizona RW Clayton Keller has four goals in four games against Tampa Bay. ... Vasilevskiy leads the league with 20 victories since Jan. 1, Kuemper is second with 19. ... Gourde became the fifth Lightning player to reach the 20-goal mark this season and has reached it in consecutive seasons.

UP NEXT

Lightning: At Washington Capitals on Wednesday

Coyotes: At Florida Panthers on Thursday

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More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Updated March 19, 2019

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Teams Score Time
NCAA FB
Appalachian State   Sat 3:30pm
North Carolina  
Ball State   Sat 7:00pm
NC State  
NHL
Carolina 3 F
Tampa Bay 0
Tampa Bay   7:00pm
Carolina  
Teams Score Time
Air Force   Fri 9:00pm
Boise State  
Utah   Fri 9:00pm
USC  
Boston College   Sat 12:00pm
Rutgers  
Elon   Sat 12:00pm
Wake Forest  
LSU   Sat 12:00pm
Vanderbilt  
Michigan State   Sat 12:00pm
Northwestern  
Michigan   Sat 12:00pm
Wisconsin  
Southern Mississippi   Sat 12:00pm
Alabama  
Tennessee   Sat 12:00pm
Florida  
Western Michigan   Sat 12:00pm
Syracuse  
Appalachian State   Sat 3:30pm
North Carolina  
Auburn   Sat 3:30pm
Texas A&M  
Louisville   Sat 3:30pm
Florida State  
Miami (OH)   Sat 3:30pm
Ohio State  
UCF   Sat 3:30pm
Pittsburgh  
Washington   Sat 3:30pm
BYU  
Central Michigan   Sat 4:00pm
Miami  
Ball State   Sat 7:00pm
NC State  
Old Dominion   Sat 7:00pm
Virginia  
Oregon   Sat 7:00pm
Stanford  
Charlotte   Sat 7:30pm
Clemson  
Oklahoma State   Sat 7:30pm
Texas  
Notre Dame   Sat 8:00pm
Georgia  
UCLA   Sat 10:30pm
Washington State  
Teams Score Time
Interleague
Seattle 6 F
Pittsburgh 0
San Francisco 7 F
Boston 6
Tampa Bay 5 F
Los Angeles 7
Seattle   7:05pm
Pittsburgh  
San Francisco   7:10pm
Boston  
Tampa Bay   8:10pm
Los Angeles  
American League
Los Angeles 0 F
New York 8
Toronto 8 F
Baltimore 5
Detroit 2 F
Cleveland 7
Chicago 8 F
Minnesota 9
Texas 1 F
Houston 4
Kansas City 1 F
Oakland 2
Kansas City   3:37pm
Oakland  
Los Angeles   6:35pm
New York  
Toronto   7:05pm
Baltimore  
Detroit   7:10pm
Cleveland  
Chicago   7:40pm
Minnesota  
Texas   8:10pm
Houston  
National League
Philadelphia 5 F
Atlanta 4
San Diego 1 F
Milwaukee 3
Washington 6 F
St. Louis 2
Cincinnati 4 F
Chicago 2
New York 6 F
Colorado 1
Miami 12 F
Arizona 6
Washington   1:15pm
St. Louis  
New York   3:10pm
Colorado  
Miami   3:40pm
Arizona  
Philadelphia   7:20pm
Atlanta  
San Diego   7:40pm
Milwaukee  
Cincinnati   8:05pm
Chicago  
Teams Score Time
Tennessee   Thu 8:20pm
Jacksonville  
Teams Score Time
Ottawa 3 F
Toronto 1
Buffalo 1 F
Columbus 4
Carolina 3 F
Tampa Bay 0
Philadelphia 2 F/OT
New York 3
Chicago 3 F
Detroit 5
Dallas 2 F/OT
Minnesota 1
Vegas 5 F
Colorado 0
Anaheim 4 F
San Jose 3
Edmonton 2 F
Vancouver 4
Los Angeles 4 F
Arizona 1
Arizona 5 F
Los Angeles 0
Florida   7:00pm
Montreal  
New Jersey   7:00pm
New York  
St. Louis   7:00pm
Washington  
Tampa Bay   7:00pm
Carolina  
Toronto   7:30pm
Ottawa  
Minnesota   8:00pm
Winnipeg  
Detroit   8:30pm
Chicago  
San Jose   9:00pm
Calgary  
MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES AT LAS VEGAS
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 19 Martin Truex Jr 24
2 4 Kevin Harvick 3
3 2 Brad Keselowski 18
4 9 Chase Elliott 8
5 12 Ryan Blaney 23
6 88 Alex Bowman 19
7 24 William Byron 14
8 42 Kyle Larson 15
9 22 Joey Logano 22
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES AT LAS VEGAS
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 2 Tyler Reddick 4
2 20 Christopher Bell 2
3 19 Brandon Jones 6
4 00 Cole Custer 1
5 7 Justin Allgaier 3
6 9 Noah Gragson 36
7 08 Gray Gaulding 16
8 23 John Hunter Nemechek 13
9 18 Riley Herbst 15
NASCAR GANDER OUTDOORS TRUCK SERIES AT LAS VEGAS
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 16 Austin Hill 7
2 45 Ross Chastain 2
3 51 Christian Eckes 1
4 2 Sheldon Creed 6
5 4 Todd Gilliland 3
6 30 Brennan Poole 18
7 24 Brett Moffitt 4
8 99 Ben Rhodes 13
9 18 Harrison Burton 9