Kucherov Ends Goal Drought, Lightning Beat Canucks 5-2
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Nikita Kucherov stopped an 11-game goal drought, Andrei Vasilevskiy made 27 saves for his NHL-best 32nd victory, and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Vancouver Canucks 5-2 on Thursday night.
Yanni Gourde, Adam Erne, Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman also scored for the Lightning, who returned home after a 5-3 trip.
Vancouver's Brock Boeser scored his 26th goal and Anders Nilsson stopped 31 shots.
Kucherov opened the scoring on his 28th goal by converting a rebound 14:36 into the first period.
After Gourde got his 20th goal during a power play at 1:38 of the second, Erne made it 3-0 with 6:20 left in the second in his first NHL game this season.
The Lightning recalled Erne from Syracuse of the AHL before the game.
Stamkos completed Tampa Bay's three-goal second when he picked his up 20th goal late in the period.
Boeser, the MVP at last month's NHL All-Star game in Tampa, had a power-play goal early in the third.
Sven Baertschi cut the deficit to 4-2 midway through the period.
Hedman had a late power-play goal.
NOTES: Canucks C Sam Gagner, with a sprained ankle, and C Brenden Gaunce, seen in a walking boot, both sat out. ... Tampa Bay D Dan Girardi returned after missing three games due to a lower-body injury. ... The Lightning have out scored their opponents 73-45 in the second period. ... Gourde has a three-game goal streak. ... Vancouver C Markus Granlund left with an ankle injury. ... Nilsson is 0-3 against Tampa Bay.
Canucks: Play Friday night at Carolina.
Lightning: Will retire C Vincent Lecavalier's uniform No. 4 before Saturday night's home game against Los Angeles. He will join F Martin St. Louis as the only Tampa Bay players so honored.