Welcome back to another edition of Throwback Thursday!
On this day in 2009, the Vancouver Canucks took on a wounded Tampa Bay Lighting club as Vancouver scratched and clawed their way to a 2-1 win.
“The only team that had an excuse Friday was the Tampa Bay Lightning, who strolled into GM Place missing two goalies, three defencemen and any motivation to battle for a playoff spot,” wrote the Vancouver Sun’s Elliott Pap. “The Vancouver Canucks? Their faces were almost as blue as their uniforms as they struggled to beat the Bolts 2-1 before the 245th consecutive sellout at the Garage.”
A first-period powerplay goal from Alex Edler got things started at the 11:41 mark, before rookie Steven Stamkos tied it up near the end of the second. All in all, it was Steve Bernier who potted the game-winner at the 9:26 mark of the third frame.
“I don’t know what happened there,” said Bernier who scored on a wraparound that bounced off a defenceman’s skate and in. “I didn’t even know who scored and I didn’t care. It was a lucky goal and a very important goal and we’ll take it.”
For the Canucks, it moved the club back into sole possession of fifth-place in the Western Conference.
“Coach Alain Vigneault’s skaters were at their lacklustre worst for the first two period Friday but found some legs in the third and managed to outshoot the Bolts 10-4,” wrote Pap. “Vigneault juggled his non-productive lines in the third, putting Taylor Pyatt with Mats Sundin and Ryan Kesler and shuffling Pavol Demitra to a unit with Ryan Johnson and Bernier.”
The Canucks finished the season tops in the Northwest Division and beat the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round, before being swept by St. Louis in the second.
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