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Lightning fend off Canucks with last-second save

Jan 12, 2023; Tampa, Florida, USA;  Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Corey Perry (10) scores a goal against the Vancouver Canucks in the first period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Alex Killorn and Brandon Hagel each had a goal and an assist in Tampa Bay’s three-goal second period and the Lightning hung on in the closing second to beat the visiting Vancouver Canucks 5-4 on Thursday night.

Vancouver cut a 5-2 deficit to one with 2:08 remaining and had a late power play, but with an extra Canucks skater on and the goaltender pulled, Tampa Bay goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (36 saves) made a sliding stop on Curtis Lazar with one second left to preserve the win.

Steven Stamkos notched his 499th goal and had an assist and Nikita Kucherov scored and had a helper. Corey Perry found the net and Brayden Point and Nick Perbix had two assists. Mikhail Sergachev posted an assist in his 400th NHL game.

The Lightning’s victory was their ninth straight at home and moved their season mark to 17-4-1 on home ice. They are 11-4-0 against the Western Conference.

Vancouver’s Quinn Hughes reached 200 career points with a goal and two assists. Elias Pettersson (assist), J.T. Miller (assist) and Conor Garland also tallied. Backstop Collin Delia made 30 saves and recorded his first NHL point with an assist.

The Pacific Division club lost its fifth straight road game and has dropped six of its past seven games (1-6-0).

Coach Bruce Boudreau made alternate captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson – the squad’s highest-paid player — a healthy scratch and gave his blue “A” to top-line center Pettersson in the first match between the teams.

In the first period, Vancouver scored when Garland collected a rebound and potted his eighth goal at 4:14. But on the game’s first power play, the Lightning evened up it against Vancouver’s last-place penalty-kill unit. Perry broke a nine-game pointless skid by clipping Sergachev’s long shot in at 14:37.

Killorn gave Tampa Bay its first lead at 2:30 into the second after Pettersson blocked a shot. However, Miller took a perfect long pass from Hughes and deked his way to his 16th marker three minutes later on Vancouver’s first man advantage.

Kucherov broke the tie by finishing a relentless rush on Delia and netting for the 17th time at 15:44 to put the Lightning up 3-2. Late in the frame, Killorn whipped a back-pass to Hagel, who buried his 16th tally from point blank for a two-goal edge.

Stamkos rocketed a power-play goal early in the third, but Hughes and Pettersson cut it to 5-4 before the late power play with 2:03 left.

–Field Level Media