VANCOUVER - The Lightning had battled for a long time to put itself back in playoff position.
So it was only fitting it took an extra period Saturday to get there.
With the Lightning's 3-2 overtime victory over the Canucks at Rogers Arena, it moved into the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference, the first time Tampa Bay has been in a postseason position since Nov. 22.
"We didn't make it easy on ourselves," Alex Killorn said. "But a win is a win."
Nikita Kucherov scored the winner on a breakaway with 1:07 left in overtime, set up by Vladislav Namestnikov, who was once again a difference-maker and a team-high plus-3. It was the second victory in as many nights for Tampa Bay (21-17-4), which rallied from two goals down in the third period Friday in Edmonton.
Tampa Bay appeared headed for another regulation win Saturday, but the Canucks - outshot 17-5 in the third - tied it up with less than three minutes to go on a goal by Bo Horvat.
"Everybody was calm on the bench," Kucherov said. "We're like, 'We got this.'"
Coach Jon Cooper said goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy came to the bench and told the guys, 'He was (telling) the guys, 'Just get this, I'll keep them out, you guys go get the winner.' And we did."
Vasilevskiy delivered, including a glove save on a breakaway by Horvat three saves in overtime, 22 overall.
The Lightning was encouraged to get a spark from its power play, with Valtteri Filppula scoring as a man advantage expired with eight minutes to go.
And now Tampa Bay, in the eighth spot in the East, will go for a season-high matching three-game winning streak Tuesday in Colorado.
"It's so tight in the Eastern Conference, you can wake up tomorrow in the eighth spot and a week from now you can be in 12th," Cooper said. "You can't really look at it too much other than, 'Okay, are we playing well?' And the last couple games, in 48 hours, it hasn't been perfect, but we played pretty well, our effort has been outstanding and we got four points out of it."
Contact Joe Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow@TBTimes_JSmith.
First Period—1, Tampa Bay, Killorn 7 (Kucherov, Namestnikov), 3:41. 2, Vancouver, Baertschi 7 (Horvat, Weber), 15:24 (pp). Penalties—Callahan, TB (holding), 9:21; Killorn, TB (hooking), 14:12.
Second Period—None. Penalties—Edler, Van, double minor (high-sticking), 4:03; Edler, Van (interference), 8:59.
Third Period—3, Tampa Bay, Filppula 5 (Stralman, Callahan), 12:20. 4, Vancouver, Horvat 6 (Hutton, Biega), 17:10. Penalties—Weber, Van (cross-checking), 10:19.
Overtime—5, Tampa Bay, Kucherov 16 (Namestnikov, Stralman), 3:51. Penalties—None. Shots on Goal—Tampa Bay 6-9-17-3—35. Vancouver 8-7-5-3—23. Power-play opportunities—Tampa Bay 0 of 4; Vancouver 1 of 2. Goalies—Tampa Bay, Vasilevskiy 5-4-0 (23 shots-21 saves). Vancouver, Markstrom 5-5-4 (35-32). A—18,335 (18,910). T—2:37. Referees—Mike Leggo, Ian Walsh. Linesmen—Lonnie Cameron, Vaughan Rody.