The Tampa Bay Lightning fell to the Vancouver Canucks 4-2 on Friday, bringing their record to 15-14-2 on the season. It’s a disappointing finish to a game the Lightning lead 1-0 after the first period, fell behind in during the second and tied up briefly in the third before losing.
The Lightning entered the contest after a 6-3 win over the Calgary Flames where they played one of the team’s more complete games in 2016-17. The Canucks, on the other hand, had lost their previous three games since beating the Lightning 5-1 at the Amalie Arena on Dec. 8.
The Lightning played on Friday without injured forwards Ryan Callahan (lower-body), Nikita Kucherov (lower-body) and Ondrej Palat (undisclosed).
After a Canucks goal was called off for being offsides early in the first period, Victor Hedman put the Lightning on the board and gave them the all important lead to start the game. However, the Canucks took a 2-1 lead after scoring two goals in the second period.
The Lightning tied the game on Cory Conacher’s first goal of the season on the power play early in the third period but the Canucks scored the go-ahead goal and added an empty netter to earn two points and secure just their second win in the past six games — both of which have come against the Lightning.
Here’s a closer look at how things played out on Friday:
The first period began with an early Victor Hedman penalty for delay of game which gave the Canucks their first power play just 24 seconds into the contest. They scored on the ensuing power play, but a coach’s challenge by Jon Cooper resulted in the goal being waived off because of a missed offsides call earlier in the sequence.
The Lightning made it 1-0 on Hedman’s sixth goal of the season on assists by Valtteri Filppula and Brian Boyle, who have been productive for the Lightning playing on the same line the past two games. Andrei Vasilevskiy got off to a strong start between the pipes, stopping all eight Canucks shots he faced during the first 20 minutes of play.
Each team registered eight shots on goal during the second frame but the Canucks were able to convert twice at even strength to take a 2-1 lead. Their first goal came at 1:37 of the period when Brandon Sutter beat Vasilevskiy on a one-timer off a feed from Markus Granlund after a turnover by Slater Koekkoek. Loui Eriksson added his first of two assists on the evening.
Luca Sbisa gave the Canucks a 2-1 lead on a goal assisted by Alex Burrows and Sven Baertschi at 13:25 of the period. The Lightning received a power play after Daniel Sedin was called off for tripping but were unable to convert on the man advantage.
Jannik Hansen’s penalty for tripping at 3:21 of the third period gave the Lightning their second power play of the night. Just 32 seconds into the man advantage, Jonathan Drouin fed Cory Conacher with a pass across the Canucks’ defensive zone. Instead of firing it on net as a one-timer, Conacher held the puck a few moments before ripping it past Miller to tie the game.
The tie was short-lived, however, as Alex Killorn was called for a holding penalty at 6:08 of the period and Bo Horvat scored after being in the right place in the right time when a puck bounced off of Vasilevskiy right to Horvat who shot it past him. The 22-year-old goaltender was caught off guard by the puck’s trajectory and awkward bounce made for a tough play. The goal gave the Canucks a 3-2 lead with just 12:14 left to play.
After Vasilevskiy was pulled for an extra attacker with just over a minute remaining in regulation, Alex Burrows potted the insurance goal to secure a 4-2 win.
TB-Victor Hedman (6) assisted by Brian Boyle and Valtteri Filppula
VAN-Brandon Sutter (8) assisted by Loui Eriksson and Markus Granlund
VAN-Luca Sbisa (1) assisted by Alex Burrows and Sven Baertschi
TB-Cory Conacher (1) assisted by Jonathan Drouin and Victor Hedman (PP)
VAN-Bo Horvat (9) assisted by Markus Granlund and Loui Eriksson (PP)
VAN-Alex Burrows (6) assisted by Bo Horvat (ENG)
THW Three Stars
First: Ryan Miller (25 saves, .926 save percentage)
Second: Bo Horvat (one goal, one assist, plus-two)
Third: Victor Hedman (one goal, one assist)
What’s Up Next
Tampa Bay Lightning at Edmonton Oilers
Saturday, Dec. 17, 2016
Rogers Place – 10:00 p.m. EST
Broadcast Channels – CBC, SN360, Fox Sports Sun
Steven is a lawyer and writer with a passion for the game of hockey. He’s the Lead Writer covering the Tampa Bay Lightning with THW. He’s also been press credentialed through the Lightning since 2016. His work has been published at The Fourth Period, LightningInsider.com, Bolt Prospects, The Sports Daily Network, U.S. College Hockey Online and College Hockey News. He’s had radio appearances on TSN 690 in Montreal, Lightning Power Play Live and multiple podcasts to give insight and analysis on the team. He can be reached on Twitter @StevenDiOssi and by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.