Tampa, Fla. (CBS) Down by two goals entering the third period, the Tampa Bay Lighting put forth a courageous effort to tie the game at four against the Vancouver Canucks to let overtime settle the score.
Extra time wasn’t enough to break the deadlock, and in the shootout Mason Raymond scored the only goal for the Canucks to pick up the 5-4 win at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
The victory didn’t come easy though, as the bolts never let Vancouver out of their sight through three periods of play. The visitors gained momentum early with a goal from Alexander Edler less than five minutes in to go up 1-0. Jannik Hansen added to the lead with a short-handed goal at 8:16 for his 13th of the season.
Tampa Bay closed the gap in the second with goals from Steven Stamkos and Vincent Lecavalier, but Vancouver remained vigilant and answered right back with two goals of their own during the period. It was Stamkos’ league-leading 29th goal of the season, and Lecavalier’s 16th.
With the second period winding down and the bolts down a goal, Ryan Kesler jammed a puck home passed Dwayne Roloson during a scramble to give Vancouver a two-goal lead with less than two seconds left in the period.
A loss is never good, but last night’s shootout defeat showed how resilient this Lightning squad can be in the face of adversity. Even given the status of the Canucks who are sitting in first place in the Northwest division, the bolts made an incredible comeback but unfortunately couldn’t come out with a happy ending.
Vancouver goaltender Cory Schneider deserves most of the credit for the win, ending his night with 27 saves and three more crucial stops in the shootout to get his team a tough win on the road.
If the bolts want to make a push for the playoffs, they need to close out more games on the road, starting Thursday. It’s that simple.