TAMPA, Fla. (AP)Steven Stamkos scored his 499th goal on a 5-on-3 power play in the third period to help the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Vancouver Canucks 5-4 on Thursday night.
On the verge of becoming the 47th NHL player to reach 500 goals, Stamkos beat Collin Delia from the left circle to make it 5-2 at 5:30. Delia made four strong saves on the Lightning captain, including a pair during the ensuing one-man advantage.
”I’m trying,” Stamkos said. ”Shoot the puck and things are going to happen. Had some good looks tonight.”
Stamkos has two goals in his last 12 games.,
”I just don’t want guys to feel obligated to force the puck (to me).” Stamkos said. ”That’s the tendency, it’s human nature. It’s something you do when guys are close to milestones like that. That’s why you try to get it out of the way as soon as possible so everyone, including myself, can enjoy the moment.”
Said Lightning coach Jon Cooper: ”We’re going on a five-game road trip, it would have been very cool for him to have gotten that here at home. I know his family is here, and everything, so that was probably the only kind of downer that didn’t get to happen.”
Quinn Hughes and Elias Pettersson scored to pull Vancouver to 5-4. Curtis Lazar had an in-close shot turned aside by Andrei Vasilevskiy with two seconds to play.
Pettersson finished with eight shots on goal, while Stamkos and Vancouver’s Tyler Myers both had seven.
Corey Perry, Alex Killorn, Nikita Kucherov and Brandon Hagel also scored for the Lightning, who have won nine straight at home. Vasilevskiy made 36 saves.
Delia stopped 30 shots, and Conor Garland and J.T. Miller added goals for Vancouver. Hughes added two assists and has 201 career points.
”We started the game really well … We’re just having a tough time stringing together 60 minutes,” Myers said. ”Certain blocks of the game where we make mistakes that cost us, Ended up being too much for us to comeback. We put in a good effort there late in the third to try and push to tie it up but it was a little too late.”
The Canucks have dropped five in a row on the road.
Tampa Bay’s Brayden Point has his franchise-record home goals streak end at nine games.
Vancouver defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson was a healthy scratch after going a combined minus-5 over the previous two games.
”I think he can be better, but I think there’s a lot of guys that can be better now,” Vancouver coach Bruce Boudreau said before the game. ”It’s something you don’t want to do. He’s arguably our best defenseman but sometimes you just have to do what you think is the best thing for the team right at that moment.”
Canucks: F Tanner Pearson underwent a second hand surgery Wednesday and will miss the rest of the season. … D Travis Dermott left with an undisclosed injury.
Canucks: At Florida on Saturday night.
Lightning: At St. Louis on Saturday night.
AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports