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Vasilevskiy dominant as Lightning top Canucks 2-1, snapping three-game skid

Vancouver played contest without injured centre Elias Pettersson
Vancouver Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko, left, stops Tampa Bay Lightning’s Brayden Point (21) as Vancouver’s Quinn Hughes (43) defends while Tampa Bay’s Alex Killorn (17) watches during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, March 13, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Ross Colton scored the game winner and the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning snapped a three-game losing skid with a 2-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday.

Both of Tampa’s goals came within the first six minutes of the game, with Victor Hedman finding the back of the net 3:26 into the opening period.

Vancouver rallied in the second and J.T. Miller got the Canucks (29-24-7) on the scoreboard in the third but the home team couldn’t find the late equalizer.

Andrei Vasilevskiy was a force in net for the Lightning (38-15-6), making 35 saves.

Thatcher Demko stopped 29-of-31 shots for Vancouver.

Tampa was coming off a 4-1 loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night and is now 7-0-1 in the second game of back-to-backs this season.

Vancouver pulled Demko with 70 seconds left on the game clock but the Canucks couldn’t tie the game with the extra attacker.

Miller put the home side on the board 5:54 into the third with a quick shot from the bottom of the slot that beat Vasilevskiy stick side.

The goal, his 24th of the season, extended Miller’s point streak to 12 games, with eight goals and six assists across the stretch.

Minutes later, Vancouver’s Conor Garland poked a lose puck in past Vasilevskiy, only to see the goal called off as it came after the referee’s whistle.

A large scrum erupted along the end boards in response.

Vasilevskiy preserved the lead for the Lightning through a Canucks onslaught in the second.

The Russian netminder denied Miller on back-to-back chances early in the period, first turning away a shot from in tight then stretching out a leg to stop Vancouver’s leading scorer when he attempted to tuck in the rebound.

Later in the frame, Vasilevskiy weathered five shots on a Canucks power play, including a glove stop on Brock Boeser’s doorstop deflection.

Both sides were 0-for-2 with the man advantage on Sunday.

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Tampa Bay nearly took a 3-0 lead into the first intermission after Steven Stamkos ripped a one-timer past Demko with 57.4 seconds left in the frame.

The Canucks quickly launched an offside challenge and a video review officially called off the goal.

Vancouver struggled to break out of their zone early in the game and Tampa Bay outshot the home side 12-1 over the first seven minutes.

Colton gave the visitors a two-goal cushion 5:06 into the first, ripping a snap shot from the hash marks to beat Demko with his 11th goal of the season.

A scramble in Vancouver’s crease led to the first goal of the night.

Demko stopped a shot from Pierre-Edouard Bellemare but seemingly lost track of the puck and as he attempted to find it, Hedman popped a shot into the yawning net from in tight.

Hedman has 15 goals on the year.

The Canucks continue their homestand Tuesday when they host the New Jersey Devils. The Lightning will wrap a six-game road trip against the Kraken in Seattle on Wednesday.

NOTES: Vancouver was without Elias Pettersson, who is considered day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Sunday marked the first game the star centre has missed this season. … Lightning forward Alex Killorn played his 700th NHL game. … Right-winger Sheldon Rempal made his season debut for the Canucks. … The Lightning were playing their first game in Vancouver since Dec. 18, 2018.


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