Lightning earn feisty win over Canucks
The clubs combined for 58 penalty minutes -- 36 for Tampa Bay. Surprisingly, all the goals came at even strength as the each team was blanked on five power plays.
The Lightning improved to 9-0-1 in their past 10 games, while the Canucks slipped to 5-1-1 in their past seven games. Tampa Bay avenged a 4-1 home loss to Vancouver in October.
Erne excelled after going without a point in five consecutive games. Steven Stamkos and Ondrej Palat, with an empty-netter in the final minute, also scored for the Lightning.
Lightning rookie Danick Martel recorded the first point of his NHL career, notching an assist in his second game of the season and his sixth game overall. Martel also was at the center of controversy due to his blindside hit on Canucks defenseman Troy Stecher, who was sidelined for the rest of the night.
Tyler Motte and Chris Tanev tallied for the Canucks.
Tampa Bay goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy blocked 36 of 38 shots, while Vancouver netminder Anders Nilsson stopped 32 of 36.
Kucherov opened the scoring 8:40 into the game as he put in a wrist shot following a faceoff won by Brayden Point. Motte drew the Canucks even just 37 seconds later as he deflected in a Stecher shot.
Erne gave the Lightning an insurmountable 3-1 lead 8:37 into the second period when he deflected in a Paquette shot.
Canucks coach Travis Green became upset with about 5 1/2 minutes left in the middle frame as Stecher was dazed by the hit from Martel. The Lightning forward appeared to connect with Stecher's head but received only an interference penalty.
Moments after Martel exited the box, Virtanen went after him and a skirmish ensued. There was more mayhem in the final minute of the period as five players from each team tussled following Paquette's high hit on slight Vancouver rookie Elias Pettersson. Only Paquette and Hutton received fighting majors while some others took roughing minors.
Tanev pulled the Canucks within a goal at 5:46 of the third period as his long shot squeezed through Vasilevskiy. However, Stamkos restored Tampa Bay's two-goal advantage with 3:38 left before Palat closed out the scoring with an empty-net tally in the final two minutes.
--Field Level Media
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