Canucks score four third-period goals to defeat Lightning, 4-1October 12, 2018 4:46am

Oct. 11-- TAMPA, Fla.-After Lightning coach Jon Cooper watched Brock Boeser at the All-Star Game in Tampa last season, he knew he would have his hands full when the Canucks came to town.

"What a talent he is," Cooper said.

The right wing proved Cooper right when he rifled a shot from outside the circle to give Vancouver a 2-1 lead with about eight minutes left in the game.

The Canucks would complete the comeback with two empty-net goals in the final three minutes to defeat the Lightning, 4-1, Thursday at Amalie Arena.

Vancouver scored all four of its goals in the third period while the Lightning sputtered to the end.

"We've got to finish," Cooper said. "We're not finishing. We're shooting some pucks at the net, but we aren't going there with a desire to score. That's what you have to do with this league, especially with the goaltending in this league."

It was the exact opposite of the game against the Panthers on Saturday. The Lightning mustered only four shots in the first period against Florida, but a strong finish with a late goal gave Tampa Bay the shootout victory and two points.

Against the Canucks, the Lightning came out firing. The less-than-impressive first period the Lightning put together in the season opener became a thing of the past after the first period that they put together Thursday. Instead of struggling to maintain possession of the puck in the offensive zone, the Lightning seemed to always have the puck in the offensive zone. Tampa Bay fired off 17 shots while going on the power play twice.

Brayden Point capped off the fast start with a first-period goal, giving the Lightning their first lead of the season.

"Great start," captain Steven Stamkos said. "We had a lot of energy. Came out skating. That was something we were focusing on."

The Lightning couldn't keep up that pressure in the second, registering eight shots on goal.

It wasn't because of a lack of opportunities.

The Lightning had three of their five power-play opportunities in the second period. But they could not find a way to convert. The Lighting head into their third game 0-for-8 on the power play.

"The power play was probably the worst I have seen it in a long time," Stamkos said.

While the power play struggled, the Lightning penalty kill was solid. Tampa Bay killed all four penalties, keeping a perfect 9-for-9 on the penalty kill.

Either way, Cooper said the Lightning can't expect special teams to bail it out all the time. The game was not won or lost on special teams. All goals came during 5-on-5 hockey.

The first even-strength goal from the Canucks came about midway through the third when rookie Elias Pettersson tied the score at 1, coming off a deflection.

Shortly after, Boeser showcased a powerful shot that Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy could not get his glove down in time to stop. Jake Virtanen and Markus Granlund scored the empty-net goals.

With two Lightning goals in two games, Stamkos said he is not worried about scoring. He expects that to come soon. Defenseman Anton Stralman said the same thing. The Lightning did lead the league in scoring last season, after all.

But Cooper said the Lightning need to get inside more if they want to start turning possession and shots into points.

That, Cooper said, can break a team down.

"You have to go in there and get dirty ones," Cooper said. "They're all not going to be pretty. I think we are resorting a little bit to trying to get the pretty goal."

The Lightning (1-1-0) face Columbus at 7 p.m. Saturday at Amalie Arena.

___

(c)2018 Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Fla.)

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