February 9, 2018 / 3:36 AM / a month ago

Lightning top Canucks on strength of five goals

Yanni Gourde, Victor Hedman, Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos each had a goal and an assist, and Tyler Johnson supplied two helpers as the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the visiting Vancouver Canucks 5-2 on Thursday at Amalie Arena.

The Lightning strengthened their hold on the best record in the league while beating the Canucks decisively for the second time in less than a week.

Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 27 of 29 shots for his league-leading 32nd win of the season. Vancouver netminder Anders Nilsson took the loss while recording 31 saves on 36 shots.

Adam Erne also scored for Tampa Bay, as the Lightning won after losing their two previous home games.

Rookie Brock Boeser, with his team-leading 26th goal of the season, and Sven Baertschi tallied for the Canucks.

The Lightning scored on 2 of 3 power plays, while the Canucks were good on 1 of 3.

Kucherov opened the scoring 14:36 into the game, putting in a backhand for his first goal in 12 games.

Gourde put the Lightning ahead 2-0 on a power play 1:38 into the second period as he knocked in his own rebound.

Erne gave the Lighting a 3-0 lead at 13:40 of the second period as he fired home a one-timer. He was playing his first game of the season after being promoted from the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League.

Stamkos scored on a one-timer from the slot at 17:14 of the middle frame, giving the Lightning a 4-0 lead after 40 minutes.

Boeser put the Canucks on the board during a four-minute power play on a one-timer at 6:28 of the third period. He capitalized while Tampa Bay defenseman Dan Girardi was serving a double minor for high-sticking Daniel Sedin in the mouth and drawing blood.

Baertschi reduced Vancouver’s deficit to 4-2 about 4:30 later as he converted Bo Horvat’s pass on a two-on-one. However, the Lightning snuffed the rally, as Hedman fired in a slap shot during a power play with less than four minutes left in the game.

The Canucks lost forward Markus Granlund to an ankle injury in the first period as he fell in a collision along the end boards.

Winger Reid Boucher played for Vancouver after being called up earlier in the day from Utica of the AHL. He replaced Brendan Gaunce, who was sidelined with a reported fractured foot sustained Tuesday against Florida.

The Canucks also played without forward Sam Gagner, who hurt his ankle against the Panthers. Gagner told reporters he did not expect to be out for long after experiencing a similar injury previously.

The Lightning announced that former captain Vincent Lecavalier’s No. 4 jersey will be retired.

—Field Level Media

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