By Jake Ricker
The following players/coach missed last night's game due to COVID protocol or injury:
TBL: D Ryan McDonagh , F Ondrej Palat (Injury)
VAN: F Justin Dowling, F Alex Chiasson (COVID-19 Protocol); D Travis Hamonic, F Brandon Sutter (Injury)
The Lightning got off to a quick start with a few good looks on net. The Canucks, who had a record of 8-1-1 coming into tonight's game, were not to be overlooked. Stamkos then got set up in his office on the power play and blasted one home for a 1-0 lead.
The Canucks pushed back hard, but they ran into Andrei Vasilevskiy, who was locked in and stopped anything that came his way. The Canucks kept pushing though, and would eventually get a good screen in front of Vasilevskiy and tie the game at one.
The Bolts and Canucks continued to battle, with both teams getting opportunities in close. Vancouver looked like they had taken the momentum and were knocking on the door to take the lead. But The Lightning had other plans, as, with just 20 seconds left, Cirelli fired one into the back of the net for a 2-1 lead.
Tempers then began to flare as Point not happy with Connor Garland after he took him down. The period then came to a close, and the Bolts would take a one-goal lead into the second.
The Lightning would have to start the period on the penalty kill as the Canucks looked to tie the game. The Bolts would kill off the penalty, but Vancouver kept up the pressure.
Both teams were playing great hockey, and neither team was willing to budge in this one-goal game. Vasilevskiy had to continue to make some tough saves as the Canucks refused to take their foot off the gas.
With under 8 minutes to play in the second period, the Canucks got their best shift on the night with multiple blasts from point getting on net. Vasilevskiy turned them all away and kept the Bolt's one-goal lead alive.
The Lightning then got an opportunity to pick up an insurance goal on the power play late in the second. Despite a few great chances, the Canucks held them off and killed the penalty. The second period would then come to a close, and the Bolts would still lead by just one.
The Bolts would start the period off by killing the rest of a late penalty taken in the second. The Bolts then got a power-play chance of their own, but defense once again prevailed as the penalty was killed. This continued to be one of the tightest games the Lightning had played in a while, with excellent chances coming at both ends.
The Canucks then put on some even more pressure, but it was the Lighting who would strike as Boris Katchouk lifted a beautiful shot on a two on 0 for a 3-1 Lightning lead.
The game had quickly picked up the pace, as just off the faceoff, Vasy made a huge stop on a Vancouver breakaway. Then Joseph responded with a short breakaway of his own, but he could not finish the shot.
Time began to wind down, but the Canucks were not going away as Tyler Motte made an unreal shot between his legs and lifted it past Vasilevskiy to make it a one-goal game.
The Canucks would then pull their goalie with under two minutes to play, and the Bolts took advantage as Brayden Point took the shot and put the puck into the empty net for a 4-2 lead.
The period would then come to a close, and the Lightning picked up their second win in a row.
21 Shots on Goal 26
48 Face-off % 51
1/3 Power play 0/4
10 PIM 8
29 Hits 22
20 Blocks 9
2 Giveaways 1
Our Three Stars
1. Vasilevskiy (TBL): 24 Saves
2. Stamkos (TBL): 1 Goal
3. Kucherov (TBL): 2 Assits
Media's Three Stars
1. Vasilevskiy (TBL): 24 Saves
2. Cernak (TBL): 1 Asist 3 Blocks
3. Stamkos (TBL): 1 Goal
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