Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy made 31 saves for his league-leading 31st victory of the season, and the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning held on for a 4-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night at Rogers Arena.
Chris Kunitz, Victor Hedman, Yanni Gourde and Cory Conacher scored for the Lightning. Tampa Bay has won five of its past six contests and leads the Eastern Conference with 75 points through 52 games.
Thomas Vanek and Brock Boeser both scored in the third period as part of a late flurry for the Canucks, who nearly erased a three-goal deficit. Vancouver lost for the first time in three games.
Canucks goaltender Jacob Markstrom allowed four goals on 28 shots.
Tampa Bay seized a 1-0 lead only 86 seconds after the opening faceoff. Defenseman Anton Stralman fired a shot from near the blue line, and Kunitz deflected the puck into the net for his eighth goal of the season. The 38-year-old veteran has scored a goal in three of his past six games.
Hedman increased Tampa Bay’s lead to 2-0 at the 5:52 mark of the first period. The 6-foot-6, 233-pound defenseman pinched into the offensive zone and flicked a wrist shot past Markstrom for his seventh goal.
Gourde scored with 4:13 to go in the second period to make it 3-0. His one-timer from the right circle marked his 18th goal, 16 of which have come on even strength. Gourde’s rising shot delivered a direct hit on Markstrom’s water bottle, which rested on top of the net.
Vanek cut the deficit to 3-1 with 10 minutes remaining in the third period. He potted his 15th goal on a wraparound from behind the net.
Boeser pulled the Canucks within 3-2 with 5:30 remaining. He carried the puck into the offensive zone and ripped a pinpoint wrist shot for the 25th goal of his rookie campaign.
Tampa Bay regained a two-goal lead when Conacher scored on a penalty shot with 3:24 to play. Canucks defenseman Christopher Tanev was called for tripping Conacher on a breakaway to set up the penalty shot.
—Field Level Media