The Carolina Hurricanes stormed out of the preseason gate Monday night with an overtime decision over the Washington Capitals. Tuesday night a relatively young lineup buried 3 goals early and fought off a 3rd period comeback on their way to a win over the Tampa Bay Lightning down in the Sunshine State.
Former Hurricanes defensemen James Wisniewski dressed for the Lightning on a professional tryout offer and logged over 21 minutes of ice time. After playing less than a minute in Carolina last season due to injury, the 32-year-old defensemen was bought out for the remaining year of his contract in an effort to make room for promising young defensive talent on the NHL roster.
Although some of Carolina's biggest names were absent, a youthful lineup managed to score 3 times before the Lightning got on the board. The un-televised matchup was characterized by goals from young depth forwards and a high offensive work rate which ultimately produced 38 shots and 3 goals.
The Hurricanes came out of the locker room playing defensively sound hockey while generating a host of scoring chances. The team was rewarded in the final minute of the first period when Brody Sutter got the Hurricanes put one past Lightning goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis, with CHL forward Warren Foegele picking up the assist. The Canes tallied 17 shots on goal in a successful first period while only allowing 9.
At 10:26 in the second, Swedish-born Lucas Wallmark potted one with an assist from 2016 second round draft pick Janne Kuokkanen. Just over a minute later Jeff Skinner found the back of the net with help of veteran Lee Stempniak and Brett Pesce. The Hurricanes again played sound defense, only allowing 7 shots to reach the crease in the second period.
Cam Ward highlighted an impressive night with a 16 save shutout in his 2 periods of play. Checkers' goaltender Daniel Altshuller took over in the 3rd and allowed 2 goals on 12 shots, one of which came after the Lightning pulled their goalie.
Tampa Bay's late game push ultimately wasn't enough and Jeff Skinner's 2nd period goal turned out to be the game winner.
The Hurricanes improve to 2-0-0 in preseason play with tonight's win. Despite a constantly changing lineup, the team has looked solid in both exhibitions thus far, playing responsible and defensively sound hockey in a way that would make absent head coach Bill Peters proud.
The Hurricanes will be back in action Friday night as they take on the Lightning in Raleigh at 7:30 PM.