VANCOUVER – Critics early in the season as they did not get out physically, the Vancouver Canucks went all-in on Tuesday responding to a bruised teammate and did their best to face Tampa Bay Lightning.
They were not good enough to win the game, which Canucks leader Bo Horvat said would have been the best return.
But almost no one defeated Lightning on the scoring chart these days as the best National Hockey League team is 9-0-1 in their last 10 games and had a lot of speed and scoring chances for the Canucks to deal with a 5- 2. Loss at Rogers Arena.
But the Canucks, whose cross ended 6-0-1, drew within a goal in the third period after scoring in the second inning before a late goal from Steven Stamkos to score 4-2 and be followed by empty of Ondrej Palat. netter.
"This is hockey; we all wear the same T-shirt, "said Canucks defender Erik Gudbranson of hostility. "We are together every day and it is good when these situations happen that the guys got there."
The situation was a blow to the head of Danick Martel of the Tampa League, who injured Canucks defender Troy Stecher at 14:26 of the second period.
Referees Dan O & # 39; Rourke and Reid Anderson rated only a small interference penalty and when Martel, playing the sixth NHL game of his four-year career, emerged from the area, he was indicted after Jake Virtanen's whistle. And most of the other Canucks on ice.
Striker Cedric Paquette, who had scored one goal and scored another, when Tampa clinched a 3-1 lead, attempted to knock Canucks' super debutant Elias Pettersson five minutes later. Paquette was ready to fight the first rescuer, who was the Canucks shooter, Brock Boeser. Then Vancouver defender Ben Hutton pushed Paquette and knocked him down with his right hand.
Canucks' combativeness came two months after Florida Panthers defender Mike Matheson threw Pettersson on the ice behind the play, injuring the 19-year-old Swede.
Canucks players were not sure after the third-period incident of how Pettersson had hurt himself and, encouraged by coach Travis Green to stay focused and win the hockey game, did just that with a late goal from Horvat.
The key difference Tuesday was everyone saw Martel blind Stecher with one shoulder, and Paquette take a run in Pettersson. Then the response was visceral and immediate.
"I knew we would react like this," Horvat said. "A lot of guys saw the hit and they were not happy about it.It's a bad success.I thought we did a good job getting there and letting them know we were not happy about it.Third is different.You want to try winning the hockey game, this is the best way to return them.We became composed and fought but unfortunately came soon.
"It was enough to make them aware that we were not happy about what happened, I think it was a good answer there, we talked about it between the second and third we wanted to go out and win the hockey game. Unfortunately, we fell short of expectations, but I thought it was a great job to keep our composure and try to win and do whatever it takes. "
The Canucks could have made it if their power play had been better than 0-for-6.
They failed to make Martel pay on the scoreboard, and failed to turn pressure into a goal when Paquette was rated as the extra minor in the Pettersson bombing run.
Power play was out of control after a 3 to 5 win in Sunday's impressive 4-2 win over Edmonton Oilers, who had also come to Vancouver in a good start.
"We had a lot of difficulty in today's game," said Canucks defender Alex Edler. "I think it's just a matter of simplifying things.We have to work hard to get possession of the ball, whether it's a public dispute or an entry, and from there, just buy the network and the bodies (in the network) . "
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The Canucks 8:21 power play time included a five-to-three 58-second time that began at 6:03 of the first period. Soon after killing both penalties, Nikita Kucherov opened the scoring at 8:40 in Tampa in a quick kick of a showdown after Gudbranson froze the record.
Vancouver's Antoine Roussel agitator attempted to engage the talented Kucherov in the center-back clash, and later attacked the 1.5-meter-tall lightning bolt Yanni Gourde that circled Canuck after a heavy impact along the side glass.
Roussel disturbed the Lightning as much as Martel did the Canucks.
Tampa led by 3 to 1 when Roussel jumped on Gourde two and a half minutes before Martel shoot Stecher, who left the game.
Chris Tanev's shot was leveled by Tampa goalkeeper Andrei Vasilevskiy to lead the Canucks to a goal at 5:46 of the third quarter.
"It was pretty much directly in my line of sight," Gudbranson said of Martel's success. "It was a hard blow. The response was enormous. This was a team coming together and you need it. "
"Roussel does what he does in a game and was trying to shake things up a bit and then was probably down or up – however, you want to look at him – from there," said Lightning's coach, Jon Cooper. "You're not defending things anyway about the difficult things. But you want your guys to stand against each other and it looks like two teams are up against each other. "