The Tampa Bay Lightning had lost five in a row at home and were desperately looking to try to get back into the playoff race. They found an opponent not quite so desperate in Carolina and easily defeated the Hurricanes, 4-1 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on Saturday night.
The loss, coupled with the Winnipeg Jets shootout win against the Toronto Maple Leafs, knocked the Canes out of first place in the Southeast Division.
The visitors allowed several open chances in this game and fell behind 4-0 before they were able to muster a goal in the third period.
The Lightning got things started as Tyler Johnson scored his first career NHL goal midway through the first period when he was left wide open at the end of a powerplay. Then Ondrej Palat was given credit for his first career goal as well when a Sami Salo short bounced in the Carolina net off his skate in the second period.
Later in the second, Nate Thompson broke in the Carolina zone ahead of Drayson Bowman, who tried to hook him to no avail. Thompson was still able to lift the puck over Justin Peters to make it 3-0.
Early in the third period, Teddy Purcell would make this a laugher when he beat Peters, also on a breakaway. The Hurricanes defense allowed the Lightning to get behind them time and time again.
Finally, six minutes and change into the third, Alexander Semin hit Eric Staal with a home run, two-line pass that the captain was able to skate in and put past goalie Mathieu Garon to get the Canes on the board.
The Hurricanes will practice in Tampa on Sunday before flying to New York to do battle with the Rangers on Monday night.
- The Carolina powerplay looked totally inept once again and failed to register a shot on goal in two tries.
- The Canes were outshot 26-22. Jordan Staal led the team with six, although it did not seem like he had that many.
- The team was also not good in the faceoff circle and only won 38% of the game's draws.
- Joe Corvo left the contest early with a lower body concern. No update was given on his condition.
- The Canes are now 0-3 against the Lightning this season. They continue to struggle against their Southeast brethren and are 3-7 against division foes.