Webster Dictionary defines disappointment as the state or emotion of being disappointed and failure as a state of inability to perform a normal function.
Caniacs may be disappointed, but the Carolina Hurricanes did not fail last night against Tampa Bay. The Canes played well enough to crush a 2-goal lead late in the third that put the game into OT. That much-needed point ties them with Atlanta (60 points) in the Eastern Conference standings.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the Canes played a good game despite losing to Tampa Bay 3-4 in overtime. Saturday’s game fostered emotions worthy of a post-season match-up.
Both teams hit the ice like a flock of frat boys at a kegger. Lightning winger Steve Downie was the John Belushi trouble-maker early in the party with a penalty for boarding 63 seconds into the game. The scoreless first was quite entertaining thanks to a number of tiffs and penalties. Carolina’s Samsonov, Skinner, White, Ruutu and Stall were charged with box time while Tampa Bay’s Kubina, Moore and Downie (charging & boarding) also had visits to the penalty box.
Downie scored his 7thof the season 4:26 into the second, assists St. Louise (46) and Stamkes (34). Barely four minutes later, Vincent Lecavalier had an extra-man goal, tip in assists Purcell (24) and Gagne(9).
Eric Staal replied with a power-play goal, ending the power-playless streak, with the help of Pitkanen (22) and Cole (18).
With 7:52 remaining in the third, Sean Bergenheim increased Tampa Bay’s lead to 3-1. However, the Lightning was unable to claim their near victory thanks to Skinner (21) converting a pass from Stall with 52 seconds left in the game. Erik Cole provided his 15th goal of the season with 33 seconds remaining, tip in assists Pitkanen (23) and Corvo (21). The curse words ended and cheers erupted.
Unfortunately, overtime belonged to recentlyLightning joined Marc-Andre Bergeron with his first goal. Tampa Bay’s win increased their lead over Washington to 5 points.
The Canes and Atlanta Thrashers battle for 8th seed possession today at 5:00 PM in Atlanta.