Lightning's Kurcherov five-holes Holtby with same move from All-Star Game

By Alex Butler  |  Feb. 21, 2018 at 10:34 AM
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Feb. 21 (UPI) -- Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby may be getting sick of being beaten by Nikita Kucherov's "no move" move this season.

The Tampa Bay Lightning winger pulled it off again Tuesday night in a 4-2 victory at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C. Tampa Bay led 3-0 after the first period, getting two goals from Brayden Point and another from Chris Kunitz. Then it was Kucherov's turn to light the lamp.

"We all know how to play when they are down," Kucherov told reporters after the game. "You just need one goal and we just tried to play the same way as we did in the first and try to keep it simple."

Basically, the "no move" move consists of Kucherov skating down the ice and putting pace on the puck in front of him. He moves his stick around the puck a few times, so that Holtby can't see it. But Kucherov doesn't change the puck's path. He eventually moves his stick from in front of the puck and lets it go in the goal, through Holtby's open legs.

The first time Kucherov pulled it off against the Caps' net minder was during the three-on-three tournament at the 2018 NHL All-Star Game on Jan. 28 at Tampa's AMALIE Arena.

That score helped the Atlantic Division beat the Metropolitan 7-4 in a semifinal matchup. Kucherov scored three times in that victory.

The Lightning's star winger increased his team's lead to 4-2 with about seven minutes left in Tuesday's win. He skated down the ice and received a long-range pass for a breakaway. He brought the puck to his left side as he faced off for a one-on-one with Holtby. He pulled his stick back strongly before pushing the puck faster. Kucherov then wristed his stick around the puck before pulling it away.

Kucherov might have looked like he lost control of the puck, but in reality he knew what he was doing. He played with his stick behind the moving puck, looking like he would reach out for it, but eventually just let it slide all the way into the net.

Holtby slammed his stick onto the ice in frustration after surrendering Kucherov's 32nd goal of the season.

"The key to getting better is learning from your mistakes, and obviously I didn't do that," Holtby told reporters after the game. "I was just trying to play it patient. I wasn't trying to cheat towards that move, and he came at it a different way. You know that's on me for not recognizing it."

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