TAMPA — The Lightning had started to play good hockey, having won three of its past four games before Tuesday to climb back in playoff contention.
But this season there have been times when the Lightning has had problems scoring. Tuesday against the Canucks, those problems resurfaced in a huge way.
Tampa Bay went 1-for-10 on the power play and fell 2-1 at Amalie Arena before an announced crowd of 19,092. The Lightning fell to 17-15-3.
"This was a microcosm of how our first 35 games have gone," coach Jon Cooper said. "Again it comes down to putting the puck in the net. Go back and look at some of the chances we've had. We could have easily been 5-for-10 instead of 1-for-10 (on the power play) and we wouldn't even be having this discussion. The guys had some unreal looks. We didn't put them in."
Jonathan Marchessault scored his fifth goal of the season and goalie Ben Bishop made 19 saves for Tampa Bay.
Sven Baertschi and Daniel Sedin scored for the Canucks, who finished a six-game road trip with points in their last three games.
Tampa Bay wanted to come out aggressively against road-weary Vancouver but instead sloshed its way through the first period. Still, in the end, it was the lack of prowess on the power play that had the players fuming.
"We have to take responsibility as players," captain Steven Stamkos said. "No excuses. It has to be better.
"The first and second periods were tough. In the third, we had some great looks. We couldn't get the puck in the net. We (hit) two posts there. We had some great looks. It just wasn't going our way. One-for-10 in that game, the (opponent) is asking to give us two points, and we completely blew it."
Stamkos, who had five shots on goal, said the lack of production is becoming frustrating.
"It was lack of execution," he said. "We don't make the easy plays. We try to force things. We all have to be responsible for that.
"When we execute, we look great out there. We saw a couple of looks, did everything but score there in the third. We made the right plays; we made the right reads. When we don't, we look (bad).
"It's tough. It's so frustrating with the talent here. We're pretty much giving points away. Ten powers plays? That's unheard of. We didn't take advantage of it. That's on us."
Baertschi's fifth goal of the season gave Vancouver a 1-0 lead in a first period that saw Tampa Bay take just four shots.
Tampa Bay finally tied the score on the sixth Vancouver penalty late in the second period. With wing Ronalds Kenins in the box for tripping, Marchessault won the draw in the Vancouver zone. Anton Stralman passed the puck down to Nikita Kucherov, who tapped it back in the short slot to Marchessault, who ripped a one-timer past goalie Jacob Markstrom.
First Period—1, Vancouver, Baertschi 5 (Vrbata, Biega), 15:57. Penalties—Prust, Van, major (fighting), 2:28; Angelidis, TB, major (fighting), 2:28; Weber, Van (holding stick), 2:49; Callahan, TB (slashing), 7:50; Hutton, Van (holding), 10:18; Bartkowski, Van (slashing), 18:31.
Second Period—2, Tampa Bay, Marchessault 5 (Kucherov, Stralman), 19:38 (pp). Penalties—D.Sedin, Van (hooking), 7:59; Cracknell, Van (hooking), 11:26; Kenins, Van (tripping), 19:10.
Third Period—3, Vancouver, D.Sedin 16 (H.Sedin), 11:09. Penalties—Weber, Van (tripping), 3:11; H.Sedin, Van (tripping), 6:08; Dorsett, Van (cross-checking), 7:48; Kucherov, TB (roughing), 7:48; Vrbata, Van (hooking), 8:49; Hansen, Van (embellishment), 10:15; Nesterov, TB (interference), 10:15; Vancouver bench (too many men), 18:18. Shots on Goal—Vancouver 7-9-3—19. Tampa Bay 4-13-10—27. Power-play opportunities—Vancouver 0 of 1; Tampa Bay 1 of 10. Goalies—Vancouver, Markstrom 2-3-3 (27 shots-26 saves). Tampa Bay, Bishop 14-11-2 (19-17). A—19,092 (19,204). T—2:30.