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Recap: Lightning , Canucks
Date: December 11, 2010 10:30 PM EDT
  

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) - Steven Stamkos found a new spot to let fly with his blistering one-timer.

Stamkos scored his second goal of the game on a power play 34 seconds into overtime and the Tampa Bay Lightning recovered after blowing a two-goal lead in the third period to beat the Vancouver Canucks 5-4 on Saturday night.

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Stamkos, who ended a six-game goal drought Friday in Edmonton, moved from his usual spot atop the left faceoff circle to the middle of the ice and one-timed Martin St. Louis' pass into the top corner for his 24th goal of the season.

``Obviously, teams were keying on us, making it tough for Marty up top and for myself, so we went through a little play there,' said Stamkos, who also had an assist, giving him 44 points this season. ``We were patient and it paid off.'

It also bailed out goalie Dan Ellis after Henrik Sedin lifted a sharp-angle power-play shot over his shoulder midway through the third period and Keith Ballard beat him with a long wrister to tie it with 5:47 left.

``Our goalies have been a little snake bit,' Stamkos said. ``Obviously, I believe he'd want that one back but it's nice to get the win for him.'

Ellis, who made 23 saves, wasn't making any excuses for the late whiff.

``I had good depth but I was off my angle,' he said. ``I gave him that side. I had a good push into it but just missed. It was a misread, a little fatigue. I didn't get a strong enough push into it, but there's no excuse for it.'

Teddy Purcell, Nate Thompson and Brett Clark also scored, and Martin St. Louis and Ryan Malone each added two assists as Tampa Bay won in Vancouver for the first time in franchise history (1-9-2). But Stamkos was more concerned about his team sitting back again and letting the Canucks back in the game.

Coming off a shootout loss in Edmonton the night before, Tampa Bay managed only one third-period shot before getting a power play with 37 seconds left.

``That's kind of been the story of our season, letting teams back in,' Stamkos said. ``When we have that lead, the whole year we've sat back. We've got to stay aggressive. It's something we have to adjust to and figure out.'

Identical twins Daniel and Henrik Sedin each had a goal and an assist, and Manny Malhotra also scored for the Canucks, who rallied from two goals down late for the second straight game. They beat Anaheim in a shootout Wednesday, but couldn't finish the comeback Saturday and have lost two of three at home.

``We just weren't good enough throughout,' Ballard said. ``We had a very good third, but we needed to find a way the 40 minutes before that to get a few goals and build a lead instead of coming back from two down.'

Rookie backup Cory Schneider, making his first start since Nov. 15, stopped 19 shots and added two assists for Vancouver. But after seeing only eight shots in the final two periods, he had little chance on Stamkos' overtime drive.

It didn't help that Stamkos, who scored 21 goals in his first 22 games before the recent drought, found a new spot on the ice to get open.

``That's just how good he is,' Schneider said. ``We all knew they were looking for him and he finds ways to get open and put it exactly where he wants and gets a lot on it. He almost just blew it by me there.'

Stamkos also scored on a lucky deflection to put Tampa Bay up 3-1 early in the second period, when defenseman Mike Lundin's high point shot hit him in the arm at the top of the crease and bounced under a leaping Schneider.

``A good bounce finally, so we'll take it,' Stamkos said.

Malhotra closed the gap with a power-play tip of his own 2 minutes later, but there was nothing lucky about how Stamkos helped restore the two-goal cushion with 7 minutes left in the period. The 20-year-old scoring sensation won a race for the puck, spun away from Kevin Bieksa's check behind the net and fed Purcell in the slot for a one-timer through Schneider's legs.

``Keep working hard, you know it's going to come,' said Stamkos, who has 24 goals and 44 points, second to Pittsburgh star Sidney Crosby in both categories.

NOTES: The Canucks raised Markus Naslund's No. 19 jersey to the rafters in a 50-minute ceremony before the game, making it the third number retired in the team's 40 years. ... Tampa Bay D Mattias Ohlund, who played his first 11 seasons in Vancouver, took part in the ceremony and received a loud ovation when he was acknowledged midway through the first period. ... Vancouver D Christian Ehrhoff missed the game after sustaining a concussion Wednesday against Anaheim. LW Mason Raymond is week-to-week after breaking his thumb in the same game.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

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