The Hurricanes five-game winning streak was snapped Thursday night at Amalie Arena as the Canes dropped a 3-1 decision to the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning extended their home winning streak to nine straight games with the win..
The Lightning pushed hard in the early part of the first period and quickly established their uptempo game that has been successful for them so far this season. Tampa Bay’s Stamkos line cycled the puck for a few good potential chances but not many shots on goal.
At the 15:57 mark, Teuvo Teravainen committed a tripping penalty that sent the Lightning to the power play. Tampa’s top-ranked power play was not able to capitalize on the opportunity after not sustaining much offensive pressure. With around seven minutes left in the period, the Canes were gifted their first power play opportunity after Yanni Gourde was whistled for interference. Carolina controlled the puck well on the man advantage but was not able to get one past Andrei Vasilevskiy.
Dougie Hamilton was sent to the box for tripping Brayden Point on a play in which Hamilton pushed Point with his hand, not his stick and Point crashed into the boards. Just 13 seconds later, Victor Hedman hooked Sebastian Aho and a man-advantage for Tampa turned into 4-on-4 play. Neither team found the back of the net in the opening period and Carolina led in shots 12-3.
Early into the second period, the Canes got an advantageous zone entry after Tampa went off on line change. Dougie Hamilton saw Justin Williams streaking on the left side and fired a shot that would generate a rebound off Vasilevskiy. The puck bounced off the Tampa goalie cleanly and Williams fired a shot in the back of the net to give the Hurricanes the 1-0 lead.
Dougie Hamilton is on a 5-game point streak (3 goals, 3 assists in those 5 games).— Brett Finger (@brett_finger) January 11, 2019
Shortly after the Williams goal, Warren Foegele was whistled for high-sticking but the Canes killed off their third penalty of the night. After Foegele got out of the box, the Canes showed lack of discipline and Andrei Svechnikov was quickly assessed a minor for slashing to give Tampa Bay another opportunity with the man advantage. Rod Brind’Amour was incensed at the soft call, and it didn’t take long for the officials to even things up again and make it 4-on-4 hockey. This time, Brayden Point scored initially but BrindAmour challenged the call and it was determined Tyler Johnson still had his skate on the ice in the offensive zone while entering the bench, so the call was reversed and Carolina remained on top 1-0.
They didn't explain the call in-arena, and it was easy to miss, but check the top of this frame. That's Tyler Johnson's skate still on the ice before Point enters the zone. Offside. Great catch by the #Canes video crew. pic.twitter.com/oAe9kbqMD7— Michael Smith (@MSmithCanes) January 11, 2019
On a odd-man rush minutes later, Petr Mrazek stopped a tough shot from Nikita Kucherov to keep the Lightning scoreless. The two teams exchanged chances over the remaining five minutes of the period but Carolina held the 1-0 lead heading into the third period.
Carolina pressed early in the third with a great shift from Justin Williams and Greg McKegg but the Lightning quickly responded with a strong few shifts of their own. With 10:45 to go in the final frame, Johnson fired a shot from the slot but Mrazek stoned him to keep the Hurricanes in it.
With 8:45 to go, Andrei Svechnikov was whistled for a minor penalty to give the Lightning a chance to get back in it. This time, it cost the Hurricanes. Ondrej Palat scored after Stamkos drew Mrazek out of his net and fired a pass across the crease onto Palat’s stick. A late penalty on a slash from Greg McKegg turned into a power play goal from Point. Mrazek was pulled for the extra man with a little over a minute to go but the Hurricanes could not find the eqaulizer. Point added another goal into the empty net after Mrazek was pulled to secure the win for Tampa Bay.
The Hurricanes lost their first game in regulation this season when leading after two periods, after coming into the game at 15-0-2 in that situation. The Canes will take on the Buffalo Sabres tomorrow night at home at 7:30 p.m. It’s the return of longtime Canes forward Jeff Skinner who now is just one goal behind league goals leader Alex Ovechkin with 29 goals in 43 games.