RECAP: Lightning edge Hurricanes to end busy stretch

By Field Level Media
Feb 25, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Alex Killorn (17) shoots as Carolina Hurricanes goaltender James Reimer (47) makes a save during the first period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Yanni Gourde scored the tiebreaking goal 6:22 into the third period, and the Tampa Bay Lightning won their third straight with a 3-1 victory over the visiting Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night.

The contest was the finale of a four-game set in six days that began Saturday when the NHL sent the Lightning to Raleigh, N.C., to play Carolina instead of the Chicago Blackhawks, who had faced the Hurricanes the night before.

Mikhail Sergachev and Barclay Goodrow (empty-netter) tallied, and Brayden Point, Victor Hedman and goalie Curtis McElhinney notched assists for Tampa Bay, which won three of the four games.

Manning the crease for the third time, McElhinney allowed one goal on 32 shots to move to 2-1-1.

Brett Pesce scored, and Sebastian Aho and Jesper Fast recorded assists for the Hurricanes, who scored just once in the final two games of the set.

James Reimer stopped 19 of 21 shots. Top-line winger Teuvo Teravainen (concussion) missed his fourth consecutive game.

Carolina’s Andrei Svechnikov rang a backhander off the post and the Lightning’s Blake Coleman failed on a breakaway in their teams’ best chances in the first period, but the visitors scored on a slick play involving three touches.

In a quick transition through the neutral zone, Aho soon slipped a pass to Fast, who slid a cross-ice feed to Pesce for his second goal at 14:23.

But the key to the opening period was Carolina’s penalty kill, which denied the bulk of three Lightning power plays and allowed the home side just two shots with the man advantage.

Tampa Bay’s frustrated offense — which managed just 14 shots on goal through 40 minutes despite five power plays — got a boost when Sergachev skated in on the goal line and beat Reimer for his first marker this season at 12:39 of the second to knot the match at 1.

Defenseman Erik Cernak was injured in the second and did not return for the third, leaving the Lightning with five blue-liners, but they still managed to grab their first lead in the final period.

After a McElhinney save, Hedman recovered the rebound and sent a long stretch pass to Gourde, who wired a wicked wrist shot from the right circle for his fifth goal and the 2-1 advantage.

Goodrow added a goal into an empty net to clinch Tampa Bay’s 11th win in the last 12 home games against Carolina.

–Field Level Media