Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) tries to stop Vancouver Canucks defenceman Christopher Tanev’s goal as Tampa Bay Lightning defenceman Ryan McDonagh (27), Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Adam Erne (73) and Vancouver Canucks centre Jay Beagle (83) look on during third period NHL action at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Lightning top Canucks 5-2 in feisty battle

NHL’s No. 1 team too much for Vancouver

VANCOUVER — Nikita Kucherov scored and added an assist to earn his 50th point of the season to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 5-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday.

A feisty Canucks squad kept pace with the Lightning in a heated game marked with a flurry of fights, but they couldn’t over power the NHL’s No. 1 team.

Tampa Bay has not lost in regulation since Nov. 27.

Cedric Paquette, Adam Erne, Steven Stamkos and Ondrej Palat also scored for the Lightning (26-7-2).

Tyler Motte and Chris Tanev put up goals for the Canucks (16-17-4).

Anders Nilsson stopped 34-of-38 shots for Vancouver and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 36 saves for Tampa.

Kucherov opened the scoring 8:40 into the game, getting the puck off the faceoff and firing a shot past Nilsson.

Frustrated Canucks defenceman Erik Gudbranson broke his stick on the net as Tampa Bay celebrated.

Lightning centre Brayden Point registered an assist on the play, marking his 150th point in the NHL.

The Canucks responded to Kucherov’s goal less than a minute later.

Defenceman Troy Stecher found Motte in front of the net and Motte tipped the puck in past Vasilevskiy to tie up the score.

The Lightning went up again before the end of the first period, thanks to a move by Danick Martel, who was playing just his second game of the season.

While spinning away from Vancouver’s Ben Hutton, the left-winger got a seemingly blind pass off to Paquette who was alone in front of the net.

Paquette got the puck on his tape and popped it up over Nilsson’s pad.

The assist was Martel’s first NHL point.

RELATED: Canucks score 3 power-play goals in 4-2 win over Oilers

Midway through the second frame, the Lightning struck again when Canucks right-winger Brock Boeser struggled to clear the puck.

Paquette found the rubber in front of Vancouver’s net and Erne deflected it in to put the Lightning up 3-1.

Fists flew throughout the second period, starting with a tilt between Vancouver’s Antoine Roussel and Tampa’s Yanni Gourde.

The Canucks left-winger hit the Lightning centre along the boards, sparking a fight that saw Roussel pummel Gourde on the ice before officials could intervene.

Vancouver defenceman Troy Stecher left the ice and headed to the dressing room after a high hit from Martel, prompting another skirmish.

By the end of the period, refs had doled out a game misconduct, two fighting majors and three roughing penalties to Tampa Bay. Two Vancouver players were clocked for fighting and four for roughing.

Despite all the time spent in the box, neither team registered a power-play goal Tuesday.

Vancouver got back within one 5:46 into the third period when Tanev snuck a wrist shot past Vasilevskiy during a burst of activity in front of Tampa Bay’s net.

Stamkos gave his team some insurance over two minutes to go in the game, slipping a wrist shot past Nilsson.

Palat sealed the game with an empty-netter less than a minute later. Kucherov got the helper, marking his 50th point of the season.

The Canucks continue their five-game homestand Thursday when they host the St. Louis Blues.

The Lightning head to Calgary where they’ll take on the Flames on Thursday.

THE CANADIAN PRESS

 

Hockey fans dressed as Santa Claus cheer during the first period of NHL action between the Tamp Bay Lightning and the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Just Posted

Burning season has arrived in the Cowichan Valley Regional District, but beware of bylaws

It’s officially burning season in the Cowichan Valley Regional District, as residents… Continue reading

Francophone parents hoping to set up a French school in the Valley

Their children have a right to be educated in French, these parents say

Voter’s Guide for Cowichan-Malahat-Langford

Check out our voter’s guide for tomorrow’s federal election: Image across page,… Continue reading

VIDEO: Climate change, veterans, tax cuts: it was all there at Lake Cowichan all-candidates debate

All six candidates faced off in the final Cowichan Valley debate of this federal election season

Cowichan T-Birds finish 5th at Bridgman Cup

Cow High contends at Victoria’s prestigious field hockey tournament

Environment Canada issues gale warnings for western Vancouver Island

Gale warnings in effect for most of Vancouver Island and west coast Mainland

BC Ferries crew member taken to hospital after getting struck by bow doors

Two sailings between Horseshoe Bay and Departure Bay were cancelled

Greta Thunberg meets with First Nations chief in Fort McMurray

Thunberg has turned her protest against climate change into a global movement

Canucks hang on for 3-2 win over Rangers in New York

Vancouver scores three times in first period

More beef products recalled due to possible E. coli contamination

The food safety watchdog has been investigating possible E. coli 0157:H7

B.C. VIEWS: How to get the best deal on your ICBC car insurance

ICBC slowly being dragged into the 21st century

Most Read