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Tampa Bay Lightning falls to Vancouver Canucks 2-1

From left, Vancouver’s Taylor Pyatt, Roberto Luongo and Alexander Edler watch Steven Stamkos’ second-period shot go in to tie it at 1. It was the rookie’s sixth goal in his past eight games.

Associated Press

From left, Vancouver’s Taylor Pyatt, Roberto Luongo and Alexander Edler watch Steven Stamkos’ second-period shot go in to tie it at 1. It was the rookie’s sixth goal in his past eight games.

VANCOUVER — The key to beating Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo, Lightning coach Rick Tocchet said, was to get shots off from in tight.

"It's like any of the great goalies," he said before the game. "You shoot perimeter shots, you're making it an easy night for him. I'm a big believer in wraps, getting pucks to the net.

"These guys don't get rattled too often, but maybe it rattles them a little bit."

Tampa Bay made Luongo work for two periods Friday night, which wasn't enough in a 2-1 loss at GM Place.

Still, the Lightning (20-30-12) played one of its better games in a while and by allowing 25 shots snapped a streak of five straight in which it allowed at least 40.

Lightning goalie Karri Ramo also was exceptional, and rookie Steven Stamkos' 12th goal tied the score 1-1 in the second period.

But talk about bad luck. Steve Bernier's winner 9:26 into the third period came on what was supposed to be a centering pass from behind the net but instead bounced past Ramo off the skates of Tampa Bay's Vinny Lecavalier and David Koci.

That the team, winless in Vancouver at 0-8-1 with two ties, was outshot 10-4 in the third period and mustered just 21 shots in the game did not help its cause, though a scramble in front of the Canucks net at the final buzzer saw the puck trickle just wide of the goal.

The Lightning equaled the Canucks' nine shots in the first period but trailed 1-0 on Alexander Edler's power-play goal.

Ramo could do nothing on the blistering shot from the slot with 8:19 left. He redeemed himself with 4:38 left with a sharp glove save of Willie Mitchell's in-close backhander.

Luongo's toughest test was with 3:12 remaining when he somehow got a glove on Stamkos' wrist shot that was labeled for a top corner.

Beating Luongo took quite an effort.

The big plays were made by Marty St. Louis, who dug at the puck despite being clobbered, and Mark Recchi, who fought off a strong slash across his stick by Kevin Bieksa to get the puck cross-crease. Stamkos scored to tie the score with 5:24 remaining in the second.

Recchi's 1,421st point pushed him past Adam Oates for 15th all-time.

Officials then huddled for a video review of a play that happened about a minute earlier, when Ramo made a left-leg save after a puck deflected off teammate Vinny Prospal in front of the net.

The review found no conclusive evidence to overturn the ruling on the ice that the puck did not cross the goal line.

Had the call been reversed, Tampa Bay's goal would have been wiped away because a Vancouver goal would have stopped play.

Damian Cristodero can be reached at cristodero@sptimes.com.

Canucks 1 0 1 2
Lightning 0 1 0 1

First Period1, Vancouver, Edler 7 (Kesler, Demitra), 11:41 (pp). PenaltiesHalpern, TB (high-sticking), 3:14; Melichar, TB (cross-checking), 10:03; Ohlund, Van (hooking), 12:10.

Second Period2, Tampa Bay, Stamkos 12 (St. Louis, Recchi), 14:36. PenaltiesMalone, TB (hooking), 6:01.

Third Period3, Vancouver, Bernier 13 (Demitra, Johnson), 9:26. PenaltiesSmaby, TB (boarding), :12; Murphy, TB (tripping), 13:35; Kesler, Van (delay of game), 20:00. Shots on GoalTampa Bay 9-8-4—21. Vancouver 9-6-10—25. Power-play opportunitiesTampa Bay 0 of 1; Vancouver 1 of 5. GoaliesTampa Bay, Ramo 2-5-1 (25 shots-23 saves). Vancouver, Luongo 20-8-5 (21-20). A18,630 (18,630). T2:19. RefereesKelly Sutherland, Don Van Massenhoven. LinesmenBrad Lazarowich, Lonnie Cameron.

Tampa Bay Lightning falls to Vancouver Canucks 2-1 02/28/09 [Last modified: Saturday, February 28, 2009 6:28am]
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