NHL

Fri, Feb 27, 2009 - 10:00 PM ET
Game Recap
 

Bernier, Canucks edge Lightning

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP)

Steve Bernier scored the go-ahead goal midway through the third period, and the Canucks kept Tampa Bay winless in Vancouver with a 2-1 victory the Lightning on Friday night. Bernier's wraparound attempt was cut off by Tampa Bay defenseman Josef Melichar at the side of the net, so the big forward spun back to the goal line and threw a backhander toward the goal. The puck bounced off Vincent Lecavalier's skate and under goalie Kari Ramo, giving Bernier his first goal in nine games. Defenseman Alex Edler also scored, and Roberto Luongo made 20 saves as Vancouver won for the ninth time in 11 games in February, and moved into sole possession of fifth place in the tightly packed Western Conference playoff race. Pavol Demitra, playing despite having the tip of his left pinky finger broken by a slash Tuesday night in Montreal, added two assists for the Canucks - five points clear of a four-way tie for the final two postseason spots in the west. Rookie Steven Stamkos scored, and Ramo made 23 saves for Tampa Bay. Te Lightning, 13th in the Eastern Conference, fell to 1-5-1 in the last seven games. Lecavalier almost tied it in a scramble with 2 seconds left, but couldn't jam in the loose puck as Tampa Bay remained the only NHL team to never win in Vancouver, with only two ties to show for 11 visits since the franchise started playing in 1992. Ramo made a couple of good early saves, including stopping Alex Burrows in alone one minute into the game, before Edler opened the scoring on a power play one-timer from the high slot midway through the first period. Ramo, who faced 40-plus shots in each of his last four starts, was only tested three times in the next 20 minutes, but one was a great glove save on another power play blast through a screen. The fifth shot he saw was a shoulder stop on Henrik Sedin on a 2-on-1, and the sixth a left pad save as the puck was crossing the goal line after Sedin tried to wrap in the rebound on the other side. Stamkos, the first pick in last summer's draft, tied it on a scramble less than a minute later, putting his 12th goal into an empty net after Mark Recchi slid a loose puck through the crease. The goal stood after a lengthy video review failed to produce conclusive evidence Sedin's wraparound completely crossed the goal line - though most of the puck appeared over - at the other end first. With 12 goals and 27 points in 58 games, Stamkos is one only behind Lightning captain Lecavalier's totals over 82 games in 1998-99, his rookie season after being picked first overall in the pervious summer's draft. Notes: Vancouver D Ossi Vaananen, acquired off waivers from Philadelphia earlier in the day, did not play. ... Linesman Brad Lazarowich was working his 1,500th game and in a pregame presentation that included his family, received a crystal plaque from NHL director of officiating Stephen Walkom. ... The Canucks are 14-4-2 overall against Tampa Bay, and the Lightning have been outscored 47-19 in Vancouver. Canucks C Mats Sundin has now gone eight games without a goal and has just two assists over that span.
Tagged: Lightning, Canucks

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