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

RibFest Kelowna’s top moments

Take it in one last time, until next year

Lake Country woman advocates for district to build community park

A plot of land has recently become available

Newly-aquired Rockets defenceman invited to NHL rookie camp

Jake Lee has been added to the San Jose Sharks Rookie Tournament in September

VIDEO: Ride to Conquer Cancer rolls into Hope

Thousands of cyclist descend on small town for annual cancer fundraiser

VIDEO: Ride to Conquer Cancer rolls into Hope

Thousands of cyclist descend on small town for annual cancer fundraiser

Church building has been a landmark on Summerland’s Butler Street

Neighbourhood in Lowertown has gone through changes over the years.

Okanagan MMA fighter captures middleweight belt at home

Jordan Cabrejos scores victory at XFC Unbanned, the return of mixed martial arts to Vernon

B.C. VIEWS: Pipelines set to roll as federal politicians posture

Projects to drive B.C., Canadian economy in years ahead

B.C. Lions fall to 1-9 after 13-10 loss to Ticats

Lowly Leos have dropped six straight CFL contests

Man shot near Coalmont airlifted to hospital

A man was shot near Coalmont B.C. Saturday afternoon. The victim was… Continue reading

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

Most Read