The Tampa Bay Lightning continued what they started late in the third period of Friday’s game with the Hurricanes. The Canes managed to hold the lead for a 4-3 win to start the weekend dual, but that is not how they finished. Caniacs witnessed their team fall 4-2 to the Bolts. The loss is a strike with damaging results. Now five points before the Buffalo Sabres (yes, they won again last night), it is going to take a miracle on ice to play beyond the regular season.
Carolina made a good showing in the first with an extra-man goal from captain Eric Staal, his 31st of the season. Erik Cole continued his hot streak with his 23rd late in the session. Cole has racked up five points in four consecutive games.
“It’s unfortunate. You’re just trying to drive across the front of the net and you’ve got one guy with his arm around you and then another guy comes and bumps you. There wasn’t really anywhere to go. I tried to slow down by the time I got to the net, but it is what it is. That’s the difference in the game,” states Cole in regards to the penalty.
The second punch to the gut was an empty net goal by Simon Gagne.
The frustration of the Hurricanes was evident as they compiled 11 minutes of penalties, mostly for fighting and roughing. I can’t say I blame them. I also felt the need to punch something.
The madness that is March ends next week with complete insanity. Check back tomorrow for an insane look at the back-to-back that concludes the white-knuckled month.