Steven Stamkos scored his team-leading 18th goal, Andrei Vasilevskiy made 24 saves and the host Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-2 on Thursday night.
Anthony Cirelli, Boris Katchouk and Brayden Point also scored for Tampa Bay. Katchouk made it 3-1 at 11:24 of the third on a 2-0, and Vasilevskiy stopped Elias Pettersson’s breakaway shot after the ensuing faceoff.
Matthew Highmore and Tyler Motte each had a goal and an assist, and Thatcher Demko stopped 17 shots for the Canucks, who are 8-2-1 since Bruce Boudreau replaced Travis Green as coach last month. Vancouver ended a nine-day hiatus due to COVID-19 protocols with a 5-2 loss Tuesday night at Florida.
Motte cut the Canucks’ deficit to 3-2 with 4:14 left when he tucked the puck between his legs and lifted it over Vasilevskiy.
He covered it.
—Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) January 14, 2022
Point froze the game with an empty net.
Tampa Bay took a 2-1 lead with 20.7 seconds left in the first on Cirelli’s close backhand.
Stamkos opened the scoring on a power play from the left circle 3:16 into the game. The Lightning captain tied Jean Béliveau and Ray Bourque for 30th all-time with 173 power-play goals. The only active player with more is career leader Alex Ovechkin with 275.
Highmore tied the game at 1 at 12:05 from first with his first goal of the season. The center was playing his fourth game after missing 24 with an upper body injury.
Stamkos scored his 457th goal, breaking a tie for 57th on the career list with Alex Delvecchio. … Vancouver defender Oliver Ekman-Larsson had five shots on goal, but his goal drought reached 15 games. … Victor Hedman had his 32nd assist and just missed (39 points, 39 games) becoming the first Tampa Bay defenseman to reach 40 points in under 40 games.
Vancouver defenseman Luke Schenn received his 2020-21 Stanley Cup ring from the Lightning ahead of Thursday morning practice. He played in 38 regular season games and eight playoff games as Tampa Bay won its second straight championship.
Canucks: Left wing Phillip Di Giuseppe has been activated from COVID-19 protocols and assigned to Abbotsford of the AHL.
Lightning: Left winger Ondrej Palat (undisclosed) has been removed and is expected to miss at least a few games. … Defenseman Ryan McDonagh (lower body, three games) has returned to training and is day to day.
Canucks: Play Saturday at Carolina.
Lightning: Host Boston on Saturday night.
Mark Diddler, Associated Press
Like we to Facebook and to follow we to Twitter