Another game, another inconsistent effort resulting in a loss to Southeast Division rivals Carolina Hurricanes during a back-to-back home-and-home series.
The Eric (Staal) and Erik (Cole) pairing combined for three goals for the Hurricane offense which helped propel them over the struggling Tampa Bay Lightning and keep their postseason aspirations alive. This dual ended up putting the Hurricanes up 4-1 with 7:40 left to go in the third period. Being down 4-1 late in the third period you could tell that there wasn’t any momentum on the Lightning’s side.
Similar to many games the past few weeks, the Tampa Bay Lightning would come out strong in the first period and end up lapsing for 20 minutes at a time causing them to lose the game. Case in point, a three shot effort in the second period.
Simon Gagne opened up scoring at 6:50 into the first period on the powerplay. Gagne made a hard drive to the net from the goal line to stuff it five-hole past Cam Ward.
Vincent Lecavalier would provide some spark in the end scoring at 13:17 into the third period by deflecting a point shot into the net less than a minute after Staal seemingly drove the nail in the coffin with his goal, the Hurricane’s fourth.
Simon Gagne would get his second of the night on the powerplay on a scramble in front of the net less than a minute after Lecavalier’s notch to bring the game to 4-3.
Unfortunately, despite the late third period push Ward would stand tall and finish the night with 18 saves. Dwayne Roloson finished the night with 35 saves which goes to show you how desperate this Hurricanes team was compared to the gliding Lightning squad.
Jeff Skinner had the opening goal for the Hurricanes in the first period.
Look to measure the Lightning’s drive and interest again as the face the Hurricanes again in less than 24 hours. Should they not show any passion, every Lightning fan should be nervous about their chances in the playoffs and even their chances at finishing in the top 8–nothing is a given right now.
About the Author
Written by Christopher Tran
New York transplant from California, and an avid blogger and sports fan. As he tends to do every year, he picks an Eastern Conference NHL team to root for until they become too good and he fears for his team out west. If you want to talk hockey with me, feel free to send a line.