It’s hard to be upset about taking five out of six points from a road trip against three playoff teams, because, honestly, getting it to overtime felt like a victory in its own right for the Carolina Hurricanes.
On the tail-end of a back-to-back and it being the third game in four days with travel from St. Louis to Washington D.C. to Tampa Bay, getting a point out of that game against the Tampa Bay Lightning was most definitely a win, because it was obvious that the Canes just didn’t have it tonight.
To be fair, the Hurricanes put together the sequences they needed to to keep themselves alive, but it wasn’t pretty by any means.
Funny enough though, that seemed to have been the formula for success for the start of the game.
Instead of shooting a ton of pucks on net and scoring on none of them, the Canes instead decided to just score on their first shot of the game eight minutes in. The ol’ reversal.
In a first period that saw Carolina with its lowest shot total all season, the result was a 1-0 lead thanks to a good forechecking shift from Jordan Staal who fed Nino Niederreiter cruising through the slot.
But the second period saw the two powerhouses settle into more of an even back and forth rhythm.
It was the Lightning who swung the pendulum first, starting the period on a power play, and it didn’t take long to tie the game up as Alex Killorn beat Antti Raanta who seemed to have been expecting a pass.
Tampa Bay started to dial up the pressure from there, but the Hurricanes managed to strike quick off of the rush.
On a gorgeous transition play, Seth Jarvis continued to demonstrate his high-end ability, this time tipping a Teuvo Teravainen saucer pass out of mid-air past Andrei Vasilevskiy.
The rookie would register an assist later in the game for his fourth multi-point game in his last seven appearances since being moved to the top line.
But not long after that, Victor Hedman found some open space in the high slot on a 4-on-4 sequence and rifled a goal past Raanta.
After that goal though, Carolina started to get their feet back under them, doubling their shot count through the second half of the period. Then late into the period, the Canes pulled back ahead.
Tony DeAngelo skated his way around the offensive zone and threw a backhander on net where Sebastian Aho in tight, redirected the puck under Vasilevskiy’s arm for his 30th of the season and 175th all time as a Carolina Hurricane, passing his head coach Rod Brind’Amour for 10th all time on the franchise scoring list.
After that period though, the Canes were really out of juice and Tampa just started coming in waves in the third period.
The Bolts finally cracked through again on the power play as a Steven Stamkos one-timer rebounded off of Raanta straight to Brayden Point in the slot for the put back.
The Lightning pushed even harder from there, threating to knock the Canes off in regulation, but Raanta was huge in securing a point.
In overtime, it could have been anyone’s game, but Staal was whistled for a hold on Stamkos just 26 seconds into extra time.
It was a penalty, but with what had been let go in the third period and at that point in the game, it was a soft call.
But the Canes had to kill it, and unfortunately they could not.
Stamkos didn’t miss on a good look from the slot and sent the Hurricanes packing.
Carolina will be back in action at home at PNC Arena as they host the Montreal Canadiens Thursday night at 7 p.m.