The Tampa Bay Lightning used their powerplay unit to get past the Carolina Hurricanes, 4-3 in overtime on Saturday night in front of 17,116 at the RBC. Steven Stamkos scored the game winner 2:41 into the extra period after Brandon Sutter was called for "roughing" when he skated over goalie Mathieu Garon. But replays indicated that Sutter may have been pushed into the goalie.
The Carolina alternate captain certainly felt that way after the game claiming that he was pushed. "It was a terrible call," he said when asked about it post game.
The Lightning tied the game 7:24 into the third period near the end of a two minute 5-on-3 advantage.
Anthony Stewart had a big game for the home team and scored two goals, one on a nice breakaway move. Eric Staal extended his consecutive game point streak to 11 games. Staal had two assists and another excellent night in the faceoff circle as he won 65% of his draws.
Tampa Bay would open the scoring in the first period as Tim Wallace took the puck in from center ice and scored his first career NHL goal.
The Hurricanes did all their damage in the second period. First, Stewart made a nice backhanded move to beat Garon to tie things up, then Jussi Jokinen took a loose puck inside the slot and beat Garon with a high floater.
Stewart then sent a pretty pass from behind the goal line to Jiri Tlusty, who was crashing the net. The Czech was originally given credit for the goal, but replays showed that he never touched it, giving Stewart his 9th goal of the season.
Stamkos would then score his 46th of the season on a perfect shot past Cam Ward.
With a 3-2 lead in the third, the Canes were then put in a bad situation when Staal was called for slashing and Chad LaRose was called for hooking during the same sequence. The penalty kill unit did a great job of killing off the two-man advantage until Teddy Purcell made them pay with a a back breaker from the point with just five seconds left in the penalty.
The game remained tight until the controversial call in overtime. Coach Kirk Muller was obviously upset about the call after the game but would not comment on it.
The Canes ended up going 2-1-3 in their big six game homestand and will hit the road for some games next week.
Bryan Allen had a team high 24:32 of ice time. Staal had 24:29. Derek Joslin skated two shifts and had 2:15 of ice time. Zach Boychuk was moved off the Staal line in favor of Stewart and played 7:38.
- The team was credited with 27 hits led by Andreas Nodl with six.
- Jay Harrison had a team high four blocked shots. The Canes had 15.
- Carolina outshot Tampa Bay 28-23 as Tlusty led the way with five.
- The Canes won 57% of the game's faceoffs.
post game interviews: