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Carolina Doubles Up Tampa Bay: Hurricanes 4, Lightning 2

The Carolina Hurricanes got two goals each from Jeff Skinner and Chad LaRose as they defeated their division rival Tampa Bay Lightning, 4-2 in front of 13,304 on Tuesday night at the RBC.

The Canes started off the game with a lot of jump and were outshooting their opponents by over a 2-1 margin most of the period, but Tampa lit the lamp first on Teddy Purcell's fourth goal of the season.  The home team could have taken a step back but they went on to tie things up just 3:07 later when Chad LaRose knocked in a loose puck along the goal line.  

It was a powerplay tally set up on a shot from the point by Jay Harrison

While the shots on goal stat would start to even out in the second period, the Hurricanes took control on the scoreboard.  Jeff Skinner would score the first of his two goals just 22 clicks into the period when he skated through a couple of Lightning players, as well as their sticks, then beat Dwayne Roloson with quick shot that surprised everyone. 

Jussi Jokinen created the next goal as he scooped up a loose puck after a stick was broken by a Tampa player during a shot.  He passed the puck to Skinner, who then fed it back to Jokinen as they crossed the blueline.  The Finn held the puck a bit, drawing two players, then passed it beautifully back to Skinner, who had broken in free behind the play.

Last year's rookie of the year made no mistake, making the score 3-1.

The Lightning carried much of the play in the third and finally got on the board again when Brett Connolly scored his first career NHL tally at 14:16 into the period.  But the Canes came roaring back and jumped up again by two when Jiri Tlusty placed a perfect pass to the front of the net which LaRose tapped past Roloson, less than a minute after Connolly's goal. 

One of the key spots of the game was when Carolina killed off a full two minutes of a 5-on-3 advantage by Tampa early in the second.  When the penalty kill was over, the crowd responded in a big way and the home team carried play for awhile afterward.  

Jussi Jokinen would also get hurt during the period and limped off the ice right to the dressing room.  There was no definitive status of the player after the game.  Maurice said that it wasn't catastrophic, but he could be out awhile.  

The team will take the day off tomorrow, (Wednesday) and will hit the ice again on Thursday to prepare for Friday's game against the Capitals

Game Notes:

  • The Canes outshot the Lightning 31-30, but only had four shots on goal in the third period.  LaRose made one of them count.  Eric Staal had a team high six shots while LaRose had five.
  • The team won 45% of their faceoffs.  (Staal 58%, Sutter 18%, Jokinen 67%, Brent 55%)
  • Jay Harrison had a team high four blocked shots.  The Canes had a total of 20.
  • Tuomo Ruutu looked like his old self again and was hitting anything that moved.  He was credited with a game high seven hits.  LaRose also had an active game and contributed with five. 
  • Carolina went 1-2 on the powerplay with both of the chances coming in the first period. 

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