TAMPA, Fla. — Carter Verhaeghe had his first career hat trick and Tampa Bay scored three times in less than a minute to finish a six-goal second period that propelled the Lightning to their season-best eighth straight win, a 9-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night.
Verhaeghe, Tyler Johnson, Steven Stamkos, Alex Killorn, Nikita Kucherov and Erik Cernak all scored in the second — helping the Lightning match a team record for goals in a period, chase goaltender Jacob Markstrom and end the Canucks’ seven-game winning streak.
Brayden Point had three assists during the stretch in which Tampa Bay built a 6-2 lead on Markstrom, who was pulled with just over two minutes left in the third after yielding six goals on 21 shots. Verhaeghe, Kucherov and Cernak scored within a span of 56 seconds to finish the Vancouver goalie‘s night.
Point added his 18th goal of the season, assisted by Stamkos and Cernak, when he beat Markstrom’s replacement, Thatcher Demko, early in the third. Verhaeghe scored twice in the third period, getting his third of the game on a 5-on-3 power play with 1:51 remaining.
Tampa Bay’s eight-game winning streak is its longest since the team won a franchise-record 10 straight last February. Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 21 of 23 shots, with Vancouver’s Elias Pettersson giving the Canucks a 1-0 first-period lead and Loui Eriksson briefly making it 2-2 in the second.
Tuesday night’s matchup was just the second in NHL history featuring teams riding win streaks of seven or more games. In the other, the Columbus Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild took streaks of 14 and 12 games, respectively, into a matchup Columbus won 4-2 on Dec. 31, 2016.
Vasilevskiy (20-9-2) has won a season-best six straight starts and leads the league with 11 victories since Dec. 1. He improved to 7-0-1 since last losing in regulation to Washington on Dec. 14.
NOTES: Stamkos finished with two assists, along with his 17th goal on a second-period power play. The Lightning captain is tied with Doug Gilmour for 45th on the career power-play goal list with 153, one behind Hall of Famer Bobby Hull and Guy Lafleur. … Brock Boeser assisted on Vancouver’s first goal. He has 16 points (three goals, 13 assists) in his last 16 games. … Lightning D Ryan McDonagh missed his second straight game with an upper body injury. He likely will remain sidelined at least through Thursday’s home game against Arizona.
Fred Goodall, The Associated Press