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Bolts explode for nine goals in blowout victory over Canucks

Carter Verhaeghe led the way with his first career hat trick in a 9-2 win over Vancouver

by Jacob Lynn @TBLightning /

Eight goals over the final two periods led the Lightning to an 9-2 victory over the Canucks at Amalie Arena on Tuesday.

Carter Verhaeghe led the way with a hat trick as Tampa Bay extended its winning streak to eight games.

It was the Canucks who got on the board first, capitalizing on a broken play at the end of the first period.

Jan Rutta started the sequence with a nice play to block a Vancouver cross-ice feed but fell to the ice injured. Steven Stamkos collected the puck and appeared to be on the way out of the defensive zone but ended up turning it over to Brock Boesser. With Rutta already having skated to the bench, Boesser fed Elias Pettersson who had tons of time to wait out Andrei Vasilevskiy and fire the puck through the five-hole.

After a relatively defensive first period, things opened up for Tampa Bay in a big way.

Video: VAN@TBL: Johnson rips shot that goes off Markstrom

Tyler Johnson tied the game at one early in the second period with a shot that just trickled over the goalline despite Jacob Markstrom getting a piece of the initial shot. Just past the 10-minute mark Steven Stamkos scored off a draw on a power play to put the Bolts in front.

Vancouver came back to tie the game when a shot deflected off Victor Hedman and past Vasilevskiy.

The Bolts responded with four goals over the final 2:55 of the period turned the tie game into a comfortable advantage.

Alex Killorn started the deluge, beating Markstrom on a breakaway to make it 3-2. Carter Verhaeghe, Nikita Kucherov and Erik Cernak all followed with goals 54 seconds apart to break the game wide open.

For good measure, Brayden Point scored from a tight angle early in the third period and Verhaeghe finished off the hat trick with a pair of goals to close the game.

Thirteen Bolts ended up recording points in the game, led by Point with four (1G, 3A), Stamkos with three (1G, 2A) and Verhaeghe's hat trick.

Video: VAN@TBL: Verhaeghe nets first career hat trick

It wasn't just the Lightning's offense that stood out in Tuesday's victory. The Lightning dominated the special teams game, scoring twice on the power play and killing off all four Vancouver power plays. The PK came up clutch on a pair of first period opportunities for the Canucks and then successfully killed off an extended 5-on-3 sequence in the third period.

The Bolts will go for a ninth-consecutive victory on Thursday night when they wrap up the homestand against the Coyotes.

Scoring Summary
1st Period
VAN | 18:58 Elias Pettersson (20) - Brock Boesser

2nd Period
TBL | 4:21 Tyler Johnson (10) - Ondrej Palat, Victor Hedman
TBL | 10:10 Steven Stamkos (17) - Brayden Point - PPG
VAN | 14:05 Loui Eriksson (3) - Bo Horvat, Christopher Tanev
TBL | 15:07 Alex Killorn (17) - Unassisted
TBL | 17:06 Carter Verhaeghe (3) - Brayden Point, Yanni Gourde
TBL | 17:37 Nikita Kucherov (15) - Brayden Point
TBL | 18:02 Erik Cernak (3) - Steven Stamkos, Braydon Coburn

3rd Period
TBL | 4:37 Brayden Point (18) - Steven Stamkos, Erik Cernak
TBL | 12:43 Carter Verhaeghe (4) - Mitchell Stephens
TBL | 18:09 Carter Verhaeghe (5) - Nikita Kucherov, Mikhail Sergachev - PPG

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