Bolts storm back, fall short in shootout
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Mason Raymond used some fancy stickhandling to help Vancouver overcome a blown lead.
Raymond scored the lone goal in the shootout on a spinning backhander and the Canucks beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-4 on Tuesday night.
"It's a trick, if you want to say, or a move you have in your bag, but it's not used that often," Raymond said. "It's maybe a high-risk one, but maybe also high reward."
Canucks goalie Cory Schneider stopped all three shots he faced during the shootout, including one by NHL goals leader Steven Stamkos on Tampa Bay's final opportunity.
"I think I'm happy with my level (of play) and just staying in games and getting wins," Schneider said. "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."
The Lightning tied it at 4 with a minute remaining in the third period when Ryan Malone scored from near the post off a nifty pass by Martin St. Louis. The goal was upheld after a video review.
Alexander Edler, Jannik Hansen, Manny Malhotra and Ryan Kesler scored in regulation for Western Conference-leading Vancouver. Henrik Sedin had an assist, giving him 39 assists and 50 points this season.
The Canucks, who held a 4-2 lead after 40 minutes, are 21-0-0 when leading going into the third period. Tampa Bay is 5-17-2 when trailing after the second.
"They came at us hard at certain moments in this game," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. "They tied it up at the end, and we still found a way to win, so I'd say that's positive."
Stamkos scored his 29th goal of the season and added an assist. Vincent Lecavalier and Steve Downie had the other Tampa Bay goals.
Stamkos got the wind knocked out of him late in the second after colliding with Edler, but played during the third.
"He went in battling for that (puck)," Tampa Bay coach Guy Boucher said. "That was a tough body against body right there. A hard hit."
Downie got the Lightning within 4-3 at 6:14 of the third.
Edler stopped his nine-game goal drought and put the Canucks ahead 1-0 at 2:36 of the first. Hansen made it 2-0 when he beat Dwayne Roloson for a short-handed goal from the low left circle 8:16 into the game.
Roloson, who led Tampa Bay to the Eastern Conference finals last season, is 0-5-1 in nine games since beating Pittsburgh 4-1 on Nov. 17.
After Stamkos scored from in-close at 10:12 of the second, Malhotra gave the Canucks a 3-1 lead just 2:15 later.
The teams also traded goals in the final minute of the second, with Lecavalier scoring on a rebound with 31.6 seconds left after Schneider made a save on Stamkos during a breakaway. Kesler re-established the two-goal advantage with 1.4 seconds to go.
"They're Stanley Cup contenders," Boucher said. "We came back twice from two goals, so that's a character comeback. We could have easily got nothing against a team like that, so that was good."
NOTES: Tampa Bay D Victor Hedman missed his sixth consecutive game due to concussion-like symptoms and remains out indefinitely. ... Canucks LW David Booth (knee) is skating and could be nearing a return. ... Tampa Bay RW Adam Hall, hurt in last Thursday's game against Ottawa, could be sidelined up to eight weeks because of a torn forearm muscle. ... Vancouver D Mike Duco assisted on Malhotra's goal for his first NHL point. ... Canucks LW Daniel Sedin was held without a point and finished minus-2 for the game. ... Stamkos, St. Louis and Lecavalier combined for 15 of Tampa Bay's 31 shots.