Lightning stay hot with 4-2 victory over Canucks
Steven Stamkos moved up the NHL record book with a historic power-play goal as the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the visiting Vancouver Canucks 4-2 on Thursday night.
In the opening period, Stamkos delivered his 173rd career power-play goal, tying him with Jean Beliveau and Ray Bourque for 30th on the NHL’s all-time list of goal scorers on the man advantage.
Anthony Cirelli, Boris Katchouk and Brayden Point added goals for the Lightning, who have won five of their past six against Vancouver and are 5-0-0 against the Pacific Division. Nikita Kucherov produced two assists.
Announced to the Atlantic Division’s All-Star team before the game, Andrei Vasilevskiy made 24 saves as Tampa Bay won for the eighth time in 12 games (8-3-1).
Vancouver’s Tyler Motte and Matthew Highmore each notched a goal and an assist, but the visitors were 0-for-4 on the power play after failing on all three against Florida on Tuesday.
In his first career start against Tampa Bay, goalie Thatcher Demko stopped 17 shots, but the Canucks lost for the second straight time in regulation over their past 11 games (8-2-1).
Slumping center Canucks Elias Pettersson made his first career start at left wing on a line with Bo Horvat and Conor Garland, who along with the Lightning’s Jan Rutta skated in his 200th NHL game.
On the game’s first power play, Stamkos one-timed a pass from Victor Hedman from his familiar office in the left circle, sizzling one home for a 1-0 lead at 3:16.
The captain’s blast beat Vancouver’s NHL-worst penalty-kill unit, which allowed its 33rd goal in 105 chances (68.6 percent).
Nine minutes later, the Canucks’ fourth line beat Vasilevskiy when Highmore got control of a puck and whistled in the tying goal, with Motte credited with the lone assist.
In the period’s last minute, Cirelli put his team back up 2-1 with a soft backhander from the low slot for his 11th of the season off a pass from Alex Killorn.
In the third period, Katchouk stole the puck after a faceoff and led a two-on-zero breakout with Ross Colton. The two played give-and-go, with Katchouk scoring at 11:24 for a 3-1 lead.
Motte cut it to 3-2 by roofing his fourth marker at 15:46, but Point scored his 14th into an empty net at 18:44 to seal the victory.
–Field Level Media