The Vancouver Canucks and Tampa Bay Lightning treated fans to another epic cross-Conference matchup Tuesday, trading chances and playing an additional few minutes in a 5-4 shootout win for Vancouver.
The Lightning overcame the worst lead in hockey during the third period, taking advantage of soft defence in front of Cory Schneider to tie the game late and force extra time.
The Hat Trick
Both teams struggled to help out their goaltenders on Tuesday, leaving Cory Schneider and Dwayne Roloson to fend for themselves in a eight-goal night featuring few impressive plays from the blue line.
Schneider and Roloson were both hung out to dry but managed a handful of key saves during the offensive onslaught.
Lightning Strikes Twice
In a matchup featuring tremendous scoring talent at both ends of the ice the Canucks and Lightning traded chances all night, including two last-minute goals by the home team to spark a comeback.
Vincent Lecavalier put home his 16th of the season at 19:28 of the second period and Ryan Malone deflected in the tying goal at 18:59 of the third to earn the extra point.
Ryan Kesler responded with Vancouver’s own late-period dagger at 19:58 of the second period only to be overcome by a pair of Tampa Bay tallies in the third.
After Ryan Malone deflected the tying goal home neatly with his foot late in the 3rd period, Mason Raymond’s ridiculous Spin-O-Rama during the shootout was an appropriate response to the Lightning’s (barely) legal late goal.
Raymond kept continuous motion all the way around Dwayne Roloson, slotting home the shootout clincher in style.
Raymond had one assist against the Lightning showcasing his speed all night including a nice set-up to Andrew Alberts in the high slot late in the second period. After Roloson stopped Alberts while without a stick, Raymond has his revenge with a last-second assist on Kesler’s 12th of the year.
After an epic 5-4 overtime win for the Lightning in last year’s matchup between these talented teams, the Canucks earned revenge in another 5-4 win requiring extra time.
The Lightning were lit the lamp with familiar names like Lecavalier, Stamkos, Downie and Malone, but it was nice to see the Canucks carried by their scoring depth.
The Sedins were held to only a point on Tuesday, but received support from down the depth chart including Manny Malhotra’s 4thof the season on the newly formed #WMDline of Dale Weise, Malhotra and Mike Duco.
“They’re not always picture perfect, and sometimes as a team you play to the score. To me, it’s just trying to make key saves at the right times, and if it has to go to a shootout, so be it.” – Cory Schneider (Canucks goalie)
1st. Mason Raymond – Left Wing – VAN GOALS: 0| PTS: 1| ASST: 1 SOG: 1| PLUS/MINUS: 1
2nd. Steven Stamkos – Center – TBL GOALS: 1| PTS: 2| ASST: 1 SOG: 6| PLUS/MINUS: 0
3rd. Martin St Louis – Right Wing – TBL GOALS: 0| PTS: 2| ASST: 2 SOG: 6| PLUS/MINUS: 1
BOXSCORE | Q’s POST GAME RECAP
Vancouver 5, Tampa Bay 4
When: 7:30 PM ET, Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Where: St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa, Florida
Referees: Ghislain Hebert, Paul Devorski
Linesmen: Jonny Murray, Don Henderson