Kucherov ends goal drought, Lightning beat Canucks 5-2

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) – Nikita Kucherov stopped an 11-game goal drought, Andrei Vasilevskiy made 27 saves for his NHL-best 32nd victory, and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Vancouver Canucks 5-2 on Thursday night.

Yanni Gourde, Adam Erne, Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman also scored for the Lightning, who returned home after a 5-3 trip.

Vancouver’s Brock Boeser scored his 26th goal and Anders Nilsson stopped 31 shots.

Kucherov opened the scoring on his 28th goal by converting a rebound 14:36 into the first period.

After Gourde got his 20th goal during a power play at 1:38 of the second, Erne made it 3-0 with 6:20 left in the second in his first NHL game this season.

The Lightning recalled Erne from Syracuse of the AHL before the game.

Stamkos completed Tampa Bay’s three-goal second when he picked his up 20th goal late in the period.

Boeser, the MVP at last month’s NHL All-Star game in Tampa, had a power-play goal early in the third.

Sven Baertschi cut the deficit to 4-2 midway through the period.

Hedman had a late power-play goal.

NOTES: Canucks C Sam Gagner, with a sprained ankle, and C Brenden Gaunce, seen in a walking boot, both sat out. … Tampa Bay D Dan Girardi returned after missing three games due to a lower-body injury. … The Lightning have out scored their opponents 73-45 in the second period. … Gourde has a three-game goal streak. … Vancouver C Markus Granlund left with an ankle injury. … Nilsson is 0-3 against Tampa Bay.

UP NEXT

Canucks: Play Friday night at Carolina.

Lightning: Will retire C Vincent Lecavalier’s uniform No. 4 before Saturday night’s home game against Los Angeles. He will join F Martin St. Louis as the only Tampa Bay players so honored.

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