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Carolina Hurricanes Fall 3-1 to the Tampa Bay Lightning to Close Out 2016

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The Canes finish out the year with a loss to the Lightning, but remain only five points out of the playoffs.

Scott Audette, Getty Images

The Carolina Hurricanes entered Saturday’s game just one point behind the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference standings, looking to make it two wins in as many nights to move into 9th place in the conference. However, the Canes fell by a score of 3-1 to finish out 2016, ruining the NHL debut for backup goaltender and Canes equipment manager Jorge Alves.

It was clear in the first period that the Canes were the team coming off of a back to back. The Canes took three penalties and gave up 12 shots versus only six on Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy. Though the Canes have the best penalty kill unit in the league, the Lightning’s third-ranked power play unit was able to capitalize twice in the first. It was the first time all season the Canes had allowed two power play goals in the same game, never mind the same period.

Brian Boyle opened the scoring at the 7:35 mark with a rebound off of a shot from the point. Jonathan Drouin extended the Tampa Bay lead with a power-play goal with just 0:09 left on the clock with a snipe from the left circle. The Drouin goal came just seconds after a 5 on 3 expired and became a 5 on 4 for the Lightning.

The Canes came out in the second and drew two quick penalties, but were unable to score. Despite the lack of scoring, it went a long way to get some of the momentum back. The Canes almost leveled up the shots before Alex Killorn sneaked a backhand shot short side on Cam Ward to make the game 3-0 at 6:38.

The combination of Jaccob Slavin and Sebastian Aho quickly answered the Killorn goal just two minutes later. Slavin from the defensive zone found Aho streaking into the Lightning zone for a mini breakaway. Aho went forehand-backhand and slid the puck five-hole for the Canes’ lone goal to make the score 3-1.

The third period saw just one penalty called, on Killorn for holding, which the Canes were unable to take advantage of. Despite a slow start for the Canes, they finished the game with 27 shots versus Tampa’s 25. The highlight of the game came with 7.6 seconds left in the game when Canes coach Bill Peters put Alves in net, officially crediting him with an appearance in the NHL record books.

The Canes now enter 2017 five points behind the Philadelphia Flyers for the second wild card position in the East.


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