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A sound strategy is wasted

Lightning defenseman Jassen Cullimore figured the best way to take advantage of the Canucks' recent struggles at home was to get an early lead.

Tampa Bay did just that, but it wasn't enough. The Lightning scored three first-period goals Wednesday night, but the Canucks came back to score the final two to earn a 5-4 overtime victory and snap an 0-5-2 streak at GM Place.

Markus Naslund's second goal of the game came with 20.5 seconds remaining off a rebound of Sami Salo's shot. Goalie Nikolai Khabibulin stopped Salo, but the rebound bounced through Dave Andreychuk's legs in front of the net, and Naslund took advantage.

Tampa Bay got a point for the regulation tie, which pushed its lead in the Southeast over the Thrashers to three points. It also was a spirited effort by a team that traveled about 3,200 miles Tuesday after Monday's game with the Avalanche.

But the Lightning still has never won in Vancouver (0-6-2-1). And Tampa Bay could not hold the 4-3 lead Andreychuk provided with 9:13 remaining in the third period off a pass from Pavel Kubina, who got his 100th career assist and broke a 19-game streak without a point.

And it gave up the winner six seconds after Khabibulin stopped Trevor Linden's shot on a three-on-one break and the referee ruled Ed Jovanovski poked in a seemingly covered puck after the whistle.

Todd Bertuzzi got the equalizer, his second goal of the game, with 6:23 remaining after taking a pass a half-step behind Cullimore and ramming the puck under Khabibulin from in close.

All that occurred after Khabibulin preserved a 3-3 tie with a save on Ryan Kesler's breakaway. That began when Kesler intercepted Cullimore's cross-ice backhand pass in the defensive zone to Cory Sarich. Khabibulin also stopped Jarkko Ruutu's rebound try.

Fredrik Modin, Dan Boyle and Ruslan Fedotenko gave the Lightning a 3-1 first-period lead after Bertuzzi's game-opening tally.

It would have been 4-1 had goalie Dan Cloutier not dived behind him and smothered a puck that appeared about 99 percent over the goal line. The puck dribbled toward the net after Cloutier got his glove on Modin's bullet shot.

Bob Hall, the game's supervisor of officials, said the play was reviewed immediately and the puck "simply was not completely over. It was very close but not completely."

The Canucks scored first on Bertuzzi's goal 9:23 into the game. He was assisted by Naslund, who blew past Kubina and made a terrific pass to Bertuzzi, who completed the two-on-one with a brilliant shot past a sprawling Khabibulin.

Tampa Bay, which outshot Vancouver 15-8, roared back.

Modin scored 19 seconds later. Boyle's slap shot from the slot during a five-on-three made it 2-1 with 3:56 remaining, and Fedotenko's one-time snap shot off Modin's pass made it 3-1 with 2:15 left.

Left wing Chris Dingman had a chance to make it 4-1 2:09 into the second period but hit the post.

Naslund cut Vancouver's deficit with a four-on-four goal at 9:46. It came on a fluky play as Jovanovski's wrist shot from right wing deflected off Brad Lukowich's body and directly to Naslund on the left. The goal was Naslund's 600th NHL point.

Linden tied the score with 2:20 left with a one-time snap shot off a pass from Daniel Sedin.

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