Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) tries to stop Vancouver Canucks defenceman Christopher Tanev’s goal as Tampa Bay Lightning defenceman Ryan McDonagh (27), Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Adam Erne (73) and Vancouver Canucks centre Jay Beagle (83) look on during third period NHL action at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Lightning top Canucks 5-2 in feisty battle

NHL’s No. 1 team too much for Vancouver

VANCOUVER — Nikita Kucherov scored and added an assist to earn his 50th point of the season to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 5-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday.

A feisty Canucks squad kept pace with the Lightning in a heated game marked with a flurry of fights, but they couldn’t over power the NHL’s No. 1 team.

Tampa Bay has not lost in regulation since Nov. 27.

Cedric Paquette, Adam Erne, Steven Stamkos and Ondrej Palat also scored for the Lightning (26-7-2).

Tyler Motte and Chris Tanev put up goals for the Canucks (16-17-4).

Anders Nilsson stopped 34-of-38 shots for Vancouver and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 36 saves for Tampa.

Kucherov opened the scoring 8:40 into the game, getting the puck off the faceoff and firing a shot past Nilsson.

Frustrated Canucks defenceman Erik Gudbranson broke his stick on the net as Tampa Bay celebrated.

Lightning centre Brayden Point registered an assist on the play, marking his 150th point in the NHL.

The Canucks responded to Kucherov’s goal less than a minute later.

Defenceman Troy Stecher found Motte in front of the net and Motte tipped the puck in past Vasilevskiy to tie up the score.

The Lightning went up again before the end of the first period, thanks to a move by Danick Martel, who was playing just his second game of the season.

While spinning away from Vancouver’s Ben Hutton, the left-winger got a seemingly blind pass off to Paquette who was alone in front of the net.

Paquette got the puck on his tape and popped it up over Nilsson’s pad.

The assist was Martel’s first NHL point.

RELATED: Canucks score 3 power-play goals in 4-2 win over Oilers

Midway through the second frame, the Lightning struck again when Canucks right-winger Brock Boeser struggled to clear the puck.

Paquette found the rubber in front of Vancouver’s net and Erne deflected it in to put the Lightning up 3-1.

Fists flew throughout the second period, starting with a tilt between Vancouver’s Antoine Roussel and Tampa’s Yanni Gourde.

The Canucks left-winger hit the Lightning centre along the boards, sparking a fight that saw Roussel pummel Gourde on the ice before officials could intervene.

Vancouver defenceman Troy Stecher left the ice and headed to the dressing room after a high hit from Martel, prompting another skirmish.

By the end of the period, refs had doled out a game misconduct, two fighting majors and three roughing penalties to Tampa Bay. Two Vancouver players were clocked for fighting and four for roughing.

Despite all the time spent in the box, neither team registered a power-play goal Tuesday.

Vancouver got back within one 5:46 into the third period when Tanev snuck a wrist shot past Vasilevskiy during a burst of activity in front of Tampa Bay’s net.

Stamkos gave his team some insurance over two minutes to go in the game, slipping a wrist shot past Nilsson.

Palat sealed the game with an empty-netter less than a minute later. Kucherov got the helper, marking his 50th point of the season.

The Canucks continue their five-game homestand Thursday when they host the St. Louis Blues.

The Lightning head to Calgary where they’ll take on the Flames on Thursday.

THE CANADIAN PRESS

 

Hockey fans dressed as Santa Claus cheer during the first period of NHL action between the Tamp Bay Lightning and the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Just Posted

National trail group decries province’s plans for West Kootenay trail

Converting trail back to motorized use will harm its international reputation, says official

Cannings to pedal through South Okanagan — West Kootenay riding

MP leaves from Nakusp on Aug. 23 and ends in Kaleden on Aug. 29.

West Kootenay Open returns to new Nelson Tennis Club

The tournament runs Friday to Sunday

PHOTOS: Nelson mural festival: ‘a huge act of community’

This year the mural festival became a music festival as well

VIDEO: Title of 25th Bond movie is ‘No Time to Die’

The film is set to be released in April 2020

New study suggests autism overdiagnosed: Canadian expert

Laurent Mottron: ‘Autistic people we test now are less and less different than typical people’

B.C. father tells judge he did not kill his young daughters

Andrew Berry pleaded not guilty to the December 2017 deaths

Trans Mountain gives contractors 30 days to get workers, supplies ready for pipeline

Crown corporation believes the expansion project could be in service by mid-2022

Rosemount cooked diced chicken linked to listeria case in B.C.

The symptoms of listeria include vomiting, nausea, fever, muscle aches

B.C. seniors allowed more choice to stay in assisted living

Province doesn’t need to wait for a complaint to investigate care, Adrian Dix says

Retired B.C. fisherman wins record $60M Lotto Max jackpot

Joseph Katalinic won the biggest Lotto Max prize ever awarded

New ‘Matrix’ film set with Keanu Reeves and Lana Wachowski

Fourth installment to feature Reeves as Neo and Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity

Most Read