TAMPA, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Lightning is gaining momentum entering the stretch run.
Steven Stamkos and Ondrej Palat each had a goal and an assist to lead the Lightning past the Vancouver Canucks 4-3 on Monday night.
Valtteri Filppula and Tom Pyatt also scored for the Lightning, which moved into a second-place tie with Montreal — with one game at hand — in the Atlantic Division after completing a 3-1-2 homestand.
Goaltender Ben Bishop extended his team record with his 32nd victory.
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“Great homestand, especially after you drop the first one,” Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. “It’s not how you get there, you just need the points.”
Vancouver, 10th in the Western Conference, is 4-13-1 in its last 18 games. Alexandre Burrows scored two goals, and Jannik Hansen added a short-handed goal for the Canucks, who were blanked through the first two periods.
“We know we still have a chance, but obviously we need to string wins together, and not just three, four or five,” Hansen said. “We need to start winning games and a lot of them.”
Burrows had an assist on Hansen’s goal for a three-point game. He had a goal and two assists in Sunday’s 4-3 shootout victory at Florida.
After Pyatt scored midway through the third period, the Canucks cut Tampa Bay’s lead to one on goals by Burrows at 11:44 and Hansen at 15:16.
“It seems to be the story of the season,” Hansen told The Vancouver Sun.
“Almost there, but not quite.”
The top eight teams in each conference advance to the playoffs and the Canucks are five points behind eighth-place Phoenix, which has played two fewer games.
“We didn’t get points, and we need points,” Vancouver coach John Tortorella said.
Laich has surgery
ARLINGTON, Va. – Washington Capitals forward Brooks Laich, a former standout for the Western Hockey League Seattle Thunderbirds, is expected to miss the rest of the NHL regular season after having an operation on a groin muscle.
The Capitals announced Laich “underwent a successful procedure to release a tight adductor,” which is part of the groin.
The team said a full recovery usually takes from four to six weeks.
Washington’s last regular-season game is April 13.
Laich, 30, missed two of the past three games.