In a game that did not feature either team’s best performance, the goalies certainly stole the show. Cam Ward won with a 30-save shutout, and the Lightning’s Ben Bishop came up just one save short at 29.
The first period began the game slowly, with each team trading power play opportunities, but neither was able to gain any kind of sustained momentum. The Lightning took over towards the end of the frame, and ended up leading in the shot category 12-10.
In the second, we saw a much quicker and hungrier Hurricanes team at the outset of the period. But again, penalties and turnovers disrupted the flow of the game. Jeff Skinner had the best chance of the game early in the period on a bizarre play that Bishop somehow kept out with his mask and shoulder.
The third period brought the best chances for either team. Di Giuseppe had a chance early in the period to put the Canes ahead when he got a pass in close after being tripped on the play (uncalled), but shot it wide. On the other end, a one-timer from Nikita Kucherov was thwarted by Ward, as was a backdoor attempt from Joel Vermin that was the save of the night for either team.
In OT, Di Giuseppe and Viktor Stalberg ran a cycle play that ended up with 34 walking in alone from the left faceoff circle to fire a shot through some bodies that beat Bishop low to the stick side. It was his first goal of the season, and he duly celebrated by jumping into the end glass in front of the delirious home crowd.
It was Ward’s second 1-0 shutout of the season, the first time in his career he’s pulled off the feat twice in a single season. He also shut out the Sharks 1-0 on November 15.
The win over the Lightning puts the Hurricanes back at hockey .500, as they sit at 10-10-5 on the season, and despite their recent road woes this was their sixth straight home win, their longest streak since an eight-game win streak in 2010. They now begin a three-game road trip out west, starting Wednesday night in Anaheim.
Rank the Performances
Here’s your chance to weigh in on how you think the team performed tonight. Upvote the players you think played well and downvote the ones who didn’t.