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Bernier's third-period goal gives Canucks 2-1 win over Tampa Bay

NHL.com @NHL

VANCOUVER, B.C. - Steve Bernier's goal at 9:26 of the third period gave the Vancouver Canucks a 2-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday night.

The Canucks improved to 31-22-8 and claimed sole possession of fifth place in the NHL's tight Western Conference. The Canucks posted their fifth win in six games. They got back on the winning track after losing 3-0 on Tuesday in Montreal.

The Lightning (20-30-12) suffered its sixth loss in the last seven games and seventh straight on the road.

Tampa Bay also remained winless in nine visits to Vancouver since entering the NHL in 1992-93.

Alex Edler also scored for the Canucks.

First overall 2008 draft choice Steven Stamkos, with his sixth goal in eight games, tallied for Tampa.

Vancouver led 1-0 after the first period and the score was tied 1-1 after the second.

The Canucks enjoyed several excellent scoring chances on just nine shots in the first period. But the hosts were often stymied by Tampa goaltender Karri Ramo, who has become the nominal No. 1 while starter Mike Smith (concussion) and backup Olaf Kolzig (upper body) remain out with injuries.

Edler gave a Vancouver a 1-0 lead on a power play at 11:41 of the first period as he fired in Ryan Kesler's pass from across the slot.

Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo also stood out as he stopped Matt Pettinger and Stamkos.

Martin St. Louis had a chance to tie the game midway through the second, but he lost possession of the puck while facing an open net. Referee Don VanMassenhoven waved off an apparent Tampa goal after Mark Recchi pushed Luongo's catching glove over the goal-line while he held the puck.

Moments later, Stamkos poked home the puck after St. Louis dug it out from Luongo as he tried to cover it and then sent it across the crease. There was a delay after the goal as officials also reviewed the video of Recchi's scoring attempt, but the replay showed the puck did not cross the line.

Stamkos limped off the ice after blocking a Willie Mitchell slapshot in the dying seconds of the second period but the rookie resumed playing in the third.

Bernier gave Vancouver a 2-1 lead at 9:26 of the final period as his wraparound attempt caromed off Tampa defenceman David Keci's skate and through Ramo's legs. With the goal, Bernier ended an eight-game scoreless drought.

Notes: Vancouver claimed defenceman Ossi Vaananen on waivers Friday from the Philadelphia Flyers. . . . Linesman Brad Lazarowich worked his 1,500th NHL game. He was honoured in a pre-game ceremony Tampa defenceman. . . . Lukas Krajicek, an ex-Canuck sat out with a hip injury. . . . Winger Darcy Hordichuk returned to the Canuck lineup after missing three games to be with his wife Lisa as she gave birth to their son. . . . Vancouver backup goaltender Jason LaBarbera also became a first-time father this week.

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