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Game 71: Struck down by Lightning

by Daniel Fung / Vancouver Canucks
In the span of a 20-minute period the Canucks went from potential blowout loss to heartbreaking finish but the end result was that they still came away with nothing in a game in which they absolutely needed to get some points out of.

Alex Burrows scored twice and added an assist in the third period of Monday's game but it wasn't enough to rally the Canucks past the Lightning as Vancouver fell 4-3 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

Jannik Hansen also had a goal in the losing effort for the Canucks, who failed in their attempt to potentially pull within a single point of a playoff spot.

For most of Monday night, it appeared that there would be no luck of the Irish at all for the Canucks on this St. Patrick's Day.

The Lightning jumped out to a lead of 3-0 on goals after 40 minutes on goals by Steven Stamkos, Ondrej Palat and Valterri Filppula, the latter two finding the back of the net by banking pucks in off Vancouver defenceman Ryan Stanton.

Burrows would give the Canucks some life early in the final period on a power play by burying the rebound off a Kevin Bieksa shot at 5:44 past Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop to cut the lead to 3-1.

Tampa Bay would restore the three-goal lead just over three minutes later, however, with Tom Pyatt capitalizing on a sloppy play by the Canucks in their own end and snapping a bad angled shot past Eddie Lack.

Burrows, however, would get the Canucks back within two at 11:44 of the period after having a Nicklas Jensen shot deflect in off of him. He'd then set up Hansen on a shorthanded breakaway 15:16 to pull the Canucks within a goal but that would be as close as Vancouver would manage to get on this night.

Lack turned aside 26 of 30 shots in the loss, while Bishop made 25 saves on 28 shots in the victory for the Lightning.

The Canucks return home for the start of a two-game home stand on Wednesday when they host the Nashville Predators.

The Canucks went 0-2-0 in their season series against the Lightning...Alex Burrows concluded the four-game road trip with five goals and eight points. He had zero goals and just three points prior to the start of the trip... Chris Tanev did not return to the game after the first period. He blocked a couple of Stamkos shots late in the first frame... Eddie Lack started for the 11th consecutive time matching the longest consecutive start streak that Cory Schneider had during his run with the Canucks... Valterri Filppula's goal was the 300th point of his NHL career.

WE FINALLY MEET: It's been quite a while since Canucks fans have had seen Sami Salo in game action. Despite Salo being well into his second season as a Lightning, Monday marked the first time he faced the Canucks since joining Tampa Bay. Salo sat out with an injury back on January 1 in the Lightning's 4-2 win at Rogers Arena. Because of the lockout-shortened season last year, Salo's Lightning did not face the Canucks during the 2012.13 season. Salo did not register a shot and was held point-less in 21:14 of ice-time on Monday but did finish the night with a plus-two rating.

LUCK OF THE IRISH: St. Patrick's Day has traditionally been a good day for the Canucks. Vancouver came into Monday's contest riding an eight-game win streak in St. Patrick's Day games before having that snapped at the hands of the Lightning. Even with the loss, the Canucks' all-time record on St. Patrick’s Day is an impressive 14-6-1. Now that's a stat worthy of toasting with a green beer.

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