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About Last Night: Carolina Hurricanes top Lighting to pull within a point

The Canes won by a score of 4-3 in their final home bout against the Tampa Bay Lighting.

Sebastian Aho celebrates with Martin Necas and Nino Niederriter after scoring against Tampa Bay Lightning netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy, Saturday, Mar. 27, 2021 in PNC Arena. The Canes won in regulation, 4-3.
Kaydee Gawlik

On Pride Night, the Carolina Hurricanes also gave us a lot to be proud of. First, they made a great strong statement supporting the LGBTQ community. Second, the team on the ice gave every fan something to be proud of.

The Canes beat the division leaders to pull within a point of the Lightning for the lead of the Central Division and for the President’s Trophy Race.

Early Woes for the Hurricanes

The Canes came into the game against the league’s best team hoping for a quick start but it was quite the opposite. The Canes started the game by taking a penalty in the first 17 seconds of the game. While the Hurricanes were able to kill the penalty, the momentum was too much to overcome.

The Lightning were able to score two goals in the first 5:41 of the game. The first goal was a great play by Blake Coleman to hit the empty space in front of the net and tip in a shot in front of the net with no traffic. The second goal was the only goal that really goes against James Reimer.

With the puck around the crease, Reimer failed to cover the puck. While most on the ice expected a whistle, Pat Maroon was able to gather the puck and score. It didn’t help that the Canes thought the puck was covered and Haydn Fleury had a broken stick behind the net as well. Despite going down two goals early, the Canes never gave up the fight.

Strangely enough, the player that stood up to the Lighting was Nino Niederreiter. He ended up taking a double minor, two of which were offset. Nino was not happy with any of the liberties that Tampa was taking and was quick to stand up for his teammates.

Martin Necas does Martin Necas things

Necas continued to be the best player on the ice last night, as he earned a point in every goal that the Canes scored. His two-goal, two-assist night was his highest point total night in his career. This continues his streak of being the best player on the ice. Two nights ago, Necas willed the Canes to a win against the Blue Jackets. Last night he would not be denied.

The Canes started the scoring when Necas was able to find Cedric Paquette alone in the slot. Paquette buried the goal glove side to make the game 2-1 on a delayed penalty. Necas then set up a three-on-one that ended with a Sebastian Aho goal. He then got back-to-back goals on the power play to give the Canes the eventual game-winner.

Necas’s skill and speed will not be denied. He has always been the fastest player on the team with the best vision, but Rod Brind’Amour has been reluctant to use him in the top six because of his defensive issues. Necas has shut the haters up with his play on the top line. Necas leads the team with a 73.08% Goals for.

He has proven that he belongs on the top line, he can fill in when Aho gets thrown out of the circle and the two have proven to be a true Batman and Robin. They have combined for multiple OT goals this season, and they have proven lately that they can produce this magic during regulation.

Douglas Hamilton keeps it rolling

Dougie Hamilton now has the longest point streak this year with a 14-point streak. Many will point to the fact that he has not scored a ton of goals this year, but his play continues to set up his teammates for success. It was also reported that his contract talks have been pushed to end of the season.

He has been a great player, and has continued to improve the longer he has been able to play since coming back from a broken leg. His 54.55% Corsi leads all defensemen on the team for possession. He has proven that he has picked up where he left off last year.

Looking Ahead

The Canes now have two games against the Chicago Blackhawks coming up in Chicago. The Blackhawks have been struggling to score as of late, and with a confident Canes team, it should be expected that they can keep pace with a Tampa Bay team that is playing its next games against the desperate Columbus Blue Jackets.