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game recap

Kucherov, Stamkos power Lightning past Canucks

Two of four players with goal, assist for Tampa Bay

by Corey Long / Correspondent

TAMPA -- Nikita Kucherov scored his first goal in more than a month to help the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 5-2 win against the Vancouver Canucks at Amalie Arena on Thursday.

Kucherov, who had an assist and leads the NHL with 68 points, gave the Lightning a 1-0 lead at 14:36 of the first period, scoring off a rebound of his own shot. He had not scored in 11 games dating to Jan. 7 against the Detroit Red Wings.


[WATCH: All Canucks vs. Lightning highlights]


Yanni Gourde, Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman each had a goal and an assist, and Tyler Johnson had two assists for the Lightning (37-14-3), who have won three of their past four games and lead the League with 77 points. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 27 saves to earn his NHL-leading 32nd win.

"I really liked the way we came out in the second (period)," Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. "We took control of the game."

Video: VAN@TBL: Kucherov chips home loose puck on backhand

Brock Boeser and Sven Baertschi scored for the Canucks (21-27-6), who have lost three games in a row. Anders Nilsson made 31 saves.

"They know how to put the puck in the net. That's a good team over there," Nilsson said. "I felt OK, but obviously none of us were good enough tonight."

Gourde made it 2-0 when he scored on the power play at 1:38 of the second period. He was camped out in front of the net and scored on the rebound of Johnson's redirection of a Mikhail Sergachev point shot for his 20th goal.

Video: Van@TBL: Gourde buries PPG for his 20th of the season

Adam Erne, who was recalled from Syracuse of the American Hockey League on Thursday, scored on his first shot of the season to give the Lightning a 3-0 lead at 13:40.

"I was obviously a little nervous in the beginning, as you would be," Erne said. "But I felt good overall. [The goal] was definitely a confidence-booster."

Stamkos made it 4-0 with his 20th goal at 17:14.

"We earned everything we got today, especially the first two periods and especially the second where we had the puck a lot because we were smart with it in the neutral zone," Stamkos said. "That's when the skill takes over and we had a lot of dominating shifts in their defensive zone which wears them down."

Boeser scored at 6:28 of the third period to make it 4-1. It was his 26th goal, most among NHL rookies.

Video: VAN@TBL: Boeser fires home feed from D. Sedin for PPG

Baertschi got the Canucks within 4-2 at 10:55, but Hedman scored a power-play goal to make it 5-2 at 16:21.

"They are a really good team over there, and if you make a few too many mistakes against them, they are going to beat you," Canucks center Henrik Sedin said. "That's what happened to us tonight."


Goal of the game

Erne's goal at 13:40 of the second period.

Video: VAN@TBL: Erne pots one-time blast in his season debut


Save of the game

Vasilevskiy stopping Loui Eriksson on a breakaway at 1:24 of the first period.

Video: VAN@TBL: Vasilevskiy turns away Eriksson on the rush


Highlight of the game

Stamkos' goal at 17:14 of the second period.

Video: VAN@TBL: Stamkos rips home feed after turnover


They said it

"It's consistency, that's No. 1. Tonight, I think our effort was there. We're trying to do the right things, but it's not over 60 minutes. That's a problem. It's about getting pucks deep, not turning pucks over, being good on the forecheck, just a lot of little things we need to work on." -- Canucks center Henrik Sedin


"You could see it was coming. He was getting the chances. He was getting the shots. You worry when you're not getting those chances, so it was a matter of time. Obviously, you could tell by his celebration that he was happy to score, and it was nice for the guys on the bench to see him get one." -- Lightning center Steven Stamkos on Nikita Kucherov's first goal in 11 games


Need to know

Hedman passed Pavel Kubina for most career goals by a Tampa Bay defenseman (73). ... Stamkos has nine 20-goal seasons for the Lightning, tying him with Martin St. Louis for second-most in their history. Vincent Lecavalier, whose No. 4 will be retired Saturday, had 12. ... It was the Lightning's first win at home since defeating the Carolina Hurricanes 5-4 on Jan. 9. They lost two in a row before an eight-game road trip. ... Tampa Bay defenseman Dan Girardi returned after missing the past three games with a lower-body injury. He was plus-2 with three blocked shots and four hits in 15:36. ... Gourde is the fifth Lightning rookie to score 20 or more goals in a season. ... Canucks center Brendan Gaunce will be out 2-4 weeks with a foot injury sustained in a 3-1 loss at the Florida Panthers on Tuesday, coach Travis Green said. Center Markus Granlund injured his ankle in the second period and will return to Vancouver with two games left on their road trip.

Video: #NHLMilestones: Hedman is TBL all-time scoring d-man


What's next

Canucks: At the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday (7:30 p.m. ET; FS-CR, SNP, NHL.TV)

Lightning: Host the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; SUN, FS-W, NHL.TV)


Video: Hedman, Stamkos lead Bolts to 5-2 rout of Canucks

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