TAMPA — At another time, the Lightning might have complained about Mason Raymond's shootout goal.
The Canucks left wing was the only player to score in the shootout that gave Vancouver a 5-4 victory Tuesday night at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
But the puck clearly stopped moving forward on Mason's pull-up, spin-around backhand that beat Dwayne Roloson, contrary to NHL rules.
"We had some like that in a game last year," Tampa Bay coach Guy Boucher said. "(Steven Stamkos) did one and I see some on TV."
Besides, Boucher was more focused on the big picture in which the Lightning (17-20-4), though losers of a fourth straight game, got a point with a regulation tie in which it overcame three two-goal deficits against the No. 1 team in the West.
It did it with drama, too, as Steve Downie scored 6:14 into the third to make the score 4-3 and Ryan Malone scored with 61 seconds left to send the game to overtime.
"To get the point the way we did, that's a positive there," wing Marty St. Louis said. "This is a point maybe we can build on. We pushed the pace and when we do that we are a tough team to play against."
Said Canucks goaltender Cory Schneider: "They don't look like an 11th-place team."
Actually, the Lightning is 13th in the East, eight points out of the playoffs and at the start of a 12-game stretch with nine games at home Boucher called "crucial" for its fortunes.
That is why a feisty effort was needed.
After falling behind 9-3 in shots, Tampa Bay ended with a 31-28 advantage and had the best players on the ice.
Stamkos had a game-high 26:55 of ice time, scored his league-best 29th goal and had an assist. Vinny Lecavalier had a goal and an assist, and St. Louis had two assists.
Tampa Bay's biggest mistake came in the second period after Lecavalier skated hard behind Stamkos to score on a rebound after Schneider stopped Stamkos' breakaway.
That cut Vancouver's lead to 3-2 with 31.6 seconds left. But with 1.4 seconds remaining, Ryan Kesler made it 4-2 by batting a puck from underneath Roloson, who was trying to corral Mason's backhand.
St. Louis took the blame for starting the sequence with an errant pass. But bottom line, Boucher said, "The focus at that point is keeping that momentum. … We have to manage that a little better."
As for the shootout, Mason's trickery would have been moot had Malone, Stamkos or Dominic Moore scored.
"You practice that (spin-o-rama) from time to time," Mason said. "It just felt right."
Roloson declined comment, and after what Boucher called a "character comeback," no one was complaining.
Damian Cristodero can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Vancouver wins shootout 1-0|
First Period—1, Vancouver, Edler 7 (Sulzer, H.Sedin), 2:36. 2, Vancouver, Hansen 13 (Hamhuis), 8:16 (sh). Penalties—St. Louis, TB (goaltender interference), 3:11; Alberts, Van (hooking), 7:38; Ballard, Van (tripping), 15:50; Moore, TB (roughing), 18:26.
Second Period—3, Tampa Bay, Stamkos 29 (Malone, Bergeron), 10:12. 4, Vancouver, Malhotra 4 (Duco, Ballard), 12:27. 5, Tampa Bay, Lecavalier 16 (Stamkos, Gilroy), 19:28. 6, Vancouver, Kesler 12 (Raymond, Hodgson), 19:58. Penalties—Downie, TB (roughing), 10:12.
Third Period—7, Tampa Bay, Downie 7 (Kubina, St. Louis), 6:14. 8, Tampa Bay, Malone 8 (St. Louis, Lecavalier), 18:59. Penalties—Burrows, Van (goaltender interference), 14:02.
Overtime—None. Penalties—Brewer, TB (holding), 4:20.
Shootout—Vancouver 1 (Bieksa NG, Raymond G), Tampa Bay 0 (Malone NG, Moore NG, Stamkos NG). Shots on Goal—Vancouver 9-14-4-1—28. Tampa Bay 7-14-9-1—31. Power-play opportunities—Vancouver 0 of 4; Tampa Bay 0 of 3. Goalies—Vancouver, C.Schneider 10-5-0 (31 shots-27 saves). Tampa Bay, Roloson 6-9-2 (28-24). A—17,630 (19,204). T—2:47.