The Carolina Hurricanes couldn’t hold onto a one-goal lead in the third period and fell in overtime to the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight as they gained a point in the standings.
Jiri Tlusty got the scoring started when he took a shot five feet into the Lightning’s zone. The puck fluttered, confusing Ben Bishop and beating the netminder. Patrick Dwyer and Riley Nash had assists on the goals.
After killing a penalty around the four-minute mark of the first period, the Lightning caused turnovers and applied pressure in the Canes zone, which paid off in a goal for Victor Hedman. The Swedish defenseman was open by the far hash marks where Valtteri Filppula hit him with a cross-ice pass. Hedman wristed the puck past Justin Peter’s glove to tie it at one.
The Lightning controlled most of the second period, but that didn’t matter to Tlusty as he scored on a shorthanded breakaway to give the Canes a 2-1 lead. Eric Staal recorded his 20th assist of the season on a lead pass to Tlusty. The Czech Republic forward slipped the puck through Bishop’s five-hole.
In the third period, the Lightning made the Hurricanes pay on the power-play as Martin St. Louis tied the game when he deflected a point shot from Hedman that tied the game.
The tie would last until overtime when Radko Gudas blasted a slap shot past Peters on a 2-on-1.
The Hurricanes were lucky to earn a point out of this one. The offense wasn’t there and the defense gave the Lightning way too many chances to score as shown by the 50-27 shot line dominated by the Lightning.
Justin Peters had another strong game, especially in the second when he made three saves in the last five minutes to keep the Hurricanes in the lead at the time.
Jiri Tlusty was the Canes best player outside of Peters. He scored twice and looked strong on the puck. Now if he can continue that play, it would be great for the team as he has not played well this season.
The first period was an especially horrid stanza for the Hurricanes as they let the Lightning control the play and were lucky to come away with a goal and tie at the end of the period.
Last night, Carolina deserved a point or even a win, so maybe this is some sort of repayment for the team as it didn’t play well in this one, but still left with a point in the standings.