|VAN||0||1||0||(0 - 0)||1|
|TBL||1||0||2||(0 - 0)||3|
What proved to be an eventful night for Martin St. Louis was just another routine outing for Antero Niittymaki and the rest of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
St. Louis scored twice in the third period, while recording his 650th career point and extending his consecutive game point streak to seven as the Lightning won for the eighth time in their last 11 with a 3-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks.
Steven Stamkos pushed his career-high point streak to 10 games by also adding a goal and an assist for Tampa Bay, who put together a four-game winning streak for the first time since November 2007.
The Lightning are 10-1-2 in their last 13 games at home.
“We’re getting great plays from Marty [St. Louis] and Stamkos every game,” Lightning head coach Rick Tocchet said. “Obviously Niitty [Niittymaki] has definitely earned his keep. He’s playing really good for us right now.”
Niittymaki made 39 saves to improve to 7-0-1 in his last eight starts. The Lightning net minder has stopped 245 of the last 254 shots faced and has not allowed more than two goals in each of his last eight consecutive appearances in net.
“He kept us in the game,” St. Louis said. “He made some big saves for us and we’ve been doing a good job playing with the lead in the third. Obviously he has been the backbone of that.”
Vancouver, meanwhile, lost for just the third time in its last 11.
Stamkos opened the scoring on the power play with a shot from the left circle that got past Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo, repositioning the Lightning forward in a tie for first place with a league-best 14 goals with the man advantage.
St. Louis was credited with an assist on the goal. He has collected at least a point in 10 of the last 11 contests.
Ryan Kesler evened things up with just six seconds remaining in the second frame with a wrist shot off of the draw, sneaking one past the shoulder of Niittymaki.
“We met a hot goaltender that was on top of his game, but look at the chances we got,” Vancouver head coach Alain Vigneault said. “I thought we played hard.”
St. Louis regained the one-goal lead, sending a shot shorthanded through the five hole of Luongo to open the third period.
“That was the turning point,” Kesler said. “Obviously we got one there late in the second [period] to tie it up, but they got that third one and it kind of took the wind out of our sails.”
Officials negated Vincent Lecavalier’s apparent goal moments later upon video review, but St. Louis scored for the second time at 15:40 in the final frame to give Tampa Bay a 3-1 win in front of a home crowd of 14, 226.
“We’re winning games. That’s just the way it is,” Tocchet added. “You’ve got to be excited about that.”
|PPG - Steven Stamkos (33) ASST: Martin St. Louis (46), Ryan Malone (21)|
1 - 0 TBL
|PPG - Ryan Kesler (15) ASST: Christian Ehrhoff (18)|
1 - 1 Tie
|SHG - Martin St. Louis (19) ASST: NONE|
2 - 1 TBL
|Martin St. Louis (20) ASST: Steven Stamkos (30), Steve Downie (20)|
3 - 1 TBL
|Zenon Konopka Fighting against Rick Rypien|
|Rick Rypien Fighting against Zenon Konopka|
|Alexander Edler Holding against Ryan Malone|
|Victor Hedman Holding against Kyle Wellwood|
|Andrej Meszaros Slashing against Ryan Kesler|
|Brad Lukowich Interference against Stephane Veilleux|
|Steve Bernier Hooking against Steven Stamkos|
|Shane O'Brien Interference against Steven Stamkos|
|Mattias Ohlund Hi-sticking against Daniel Sedin|
|Steve Downie Hi-sticking against Ryan Kesler|
|Ryan Malone Tripping against Rick Rypien|
|Aaron Rome Hi-sticking against Matt Walker|
|SA: 19||TOI: 57:28|
|Saves: 16||EV: 11 - 12|
|PIM: 0||PP: 3 - 4|
|SV%: .842||SH: 2 - 3|
|SA: 40||TOI: 60:00|
|Saves: 39||EV: 27 - 27|
|PIM: 0||PP: 8 - 9|
|SV%: .975||SH: 4 - 4|
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