The Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Vancouver Canucks Wednesday night, 5-2. Tampa improved their winning streak to five games as captain Steven Stamkos netted a hat trick, including his 500th career goal.
Lightning’s Electric First Period
Tampa Bay got on the board early as Alex Killorn found Stamkos wide open in front of the net. This put the Lightning up 1-0 with just under five minutes played in the first period.
This was a historic moment for Stamkos as it was goal number 500 in his career. He is just the third active player to reach the 500 mark and the 47th in NHL history.
Less than four minutes later, Brandon Hagel made a cross-ice pass to Nikita Kucherov who hit a one-timer for the Lightning’s second goal in the first eight minutes. This was Kucherov’s 18th goal of the season.
With just under five and a half minutes to play in the first, Stamkos found the net again. Killorn made a wrap-around pass to Stamkos who tapped in his second of the night, and extended their lead to 4-0.
After this goal, the Canucks brought in Collin Delia at goal as Martin was benched.
Tampa Finish Off Vancouver
After a scoreless second period, Vancouver showed some signs of life in the third.
Less than three minutes later, Hughes weaved his way through the Lightning’s defense and scored at the net. This cut the Tampa Bay lead to just two.
With less than two minutes left, Stamkos completed his hat trick. With the Canucks’ net empty after they pulled their goalie, Kucherov and Stamkos led a breakaway that ended in Stamkos’ third goal of the game. This goal extended the Lightning lead to 5-2, which is where the game ended.
The three stars of the game were Stamkos for Tampa with his hat trick, Kuzmenko for Vancouver, and Lightning goaltender Brian Elliott, who had 37 saves on 39 shots on goal.
Back on the Ice
The Lightning will continue their road trip Thursday night as they face the Oilers in Edmonton where they will look to extend their winning streak to six.