Lightning 5, Hurricanes 3

Teddy Purcell scores on Sunday night against the Canes - James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Bishop makes 48 saves to remain perfect against Carolina

The Carolina Hurricanes finished up their homestand with a 5-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning in front of 16,760 on Sunday night at the PNC Arena.

The Canes came out on fire and put eight shots on goal early, compared to just one for the Bolts, but Riley Nash was called for hooking 4:42 into the game and the Lightning took advantage and went on to score four consecutive goals as they built a 4-0 lead before the home team could light the lamp.

Justin Peters started the game in net but was pulled after the first three goals.  It's hard to blame the rusty goalie too much, as he was left out to dry, but he left the game having allowed three goals on just seven shots.

The Lightning scored on Anton Khudobin just 24 seconds into the second period.  The goalie allowed a total of two goals on 17 shots for the game.

Ben Bishop made 48 saves, as the Hurricanes took a season high 51 shots on goal and made the saves he needed to make and stayed perfect against the Hurricanes, as he has yet to lose to the Carolina franchise.

With the score 4-0, Alexander Semin got the Canes on the board when he skated the puck end-to-end and beat Bishop with a perfect shot during a powerplay chance, 1:26 into the second period.

Just under four minutes later, Eric Staal stole the puck, skated it alone, and made the score 4-2, but the Canes could not get any closer.

Tampa Bay would make it 5-2 just two minutes and change later as a Mark Barberio shot was deflected past Khudobin.  It was the rookie's second goal of the night, and the second of his NHL career.

Both teams went into the third period with the 5-2 score, but the Canes did not give up.  Ron Hainsey knocked in the rebound of a John-Michael Liles shot to make it 5-3 and Carolina fans were hoping for another big three goal comeback.

Semin would get close again with a shot that hit the crossbar, but the score ended up at 5-3 and the Lightning succeeded in sweeping Carolina this season.

Next up will be the red hot Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night.

Game Notes:

  • Worth repeating, it was a season high 51 shots on goal for the Canes.  Jeff Skinner led the team with seven and Liles was next with six.  In all, they sent 97 shots toward the Tampa net, the second most this season.  (They had 28 shots blocked and missed the net 18 times).  The Lightning had 24 shots on goal, had 11 blocked, and missed the net just five times for a total of 40 shots.
  • Tuomo Ruutu was benched in this game and played a team low 6:48.  Liles played a team high 23:53.
  • Liles played an excellent game.  To go with his six shots on goal, he had a team high five blocked shots, and finished at +2.  Both Justin Faulk and Andrej Sekera had a -4.
  • The Canes did not give up in this game as they had an equal 17 shots on goal in each period.  But there was uneven effort again at both ends of the rink and Tampa Bay was good enough to take full advantage of any lull.
  • Post game interviews are at Canes PR.com.
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