January 22, 2013; Raleigh, NC, USA; Carolina Hurricanes center Jeff Skinner (53) scores a second period goal past the Tampa Bay Lightning defensemen Victor Hedman (77) and goalie Mathieu Garon (32) at the PNC center. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Hurricanes Drop Home Opener to Tampa

Tonight the Carolina Hurricanes hosted their home opener in hopes that they would provide their loyal fans with their first victory of the season.  The hope proved to be false as the Lightning instilled a 2-0 deficit early in the first period and went on to win 4-1 adding a pair of goals in the third period.

The Bolts were able to get on the board first with a shot from Pyatt that sailed past Cam Ward, Lecavalier picking up the assist.  Shortly after Vincent Lecavalier was able to put his skills to work and create another goal for Tampa as Conacher also found a way to weasel the puck in and light the lamp, giving him 5 points in three games for the Bolts.  Through the first twenty minutes of play the Canes and Lightning were deadlocked at 8 shots a piece, the Bolts dominating the score with a 2-0 margin.

As the second period began the Canes found themselves with a two-man advantage early on, putting Skinner, Eric Staal, Jordan Staal, Alex Semin and Pitkanen on the special teams unit. As the Canes began to set things up Jordan Staal threw a shot at Mathieu Garon that went out in front, Semin got a piece and then Jeff Skinner picked it up and was able to backhand it past a sprawled out Garon to cut the Bolts lead to 1 just after the 5-on-3 expired.  Semin and Staal being officially sworn in as members of the Hurricanes in earning their first points with the team.  They dominated the shots thanks in favor of their power play opportunities and ended the second frame with a 21-19 advantage heading into the final frame.

As the puck dropped commencing the third period the Bolts showed they weren’t letting the Canes get ahead of themselves as Keith Aulie scored his third career NHL goal and first of the season within the opening minutes of play to instill the 2-goal lead once again. Through the next twenty minutes the Canes tried to battle their way through, but found themselves in the penalty box more than on the ice. As Jokinen got called for hooking the Lightnings’ Ryan Malone was able to find the loose puck in the crease and instill a 3 goal lead against the Canes, a deficit that they were unable to fight back from.

The Canes next game is Thursday against the Buffalo Sabres as their journey for victory continues. The puck is scheduled to drop at 7pm sharp at the PNC Arena in Raleigh.


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