NHL Game Summary - Carolina at Tampa Bay |
(Monday, October 16th)
Final Score: Carolina 5, Tampa Bay 1
Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Justin Williams led the way with his first career
hat trick and an assist, and Rod Brind'Amour added a goal and two assists, as
the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Tampa Bay Lightning, 5-1, at St. Pete Times
Eight Hurricanes recorded at least one point on the night. Forwards Ray
Whitney and Eric Staal each had two assists for the defending Stanley Cup
"I've never had one before (hat trick)," said a jubilant Williams. "I've
sometimes been around it, but never actually got it. It feels nice though, and
it feels nice when the guys recognize that in the room and give you a pat on
the back. It's also nice to get off the goose egg for me, too."
Hurricane netminder Cam Ward stopped 34 shots for his third win of the season.
His counterpart, Marc Denis, was pulled after two periods, giving up four
goals on 19 shots. Denis' replacement, Johan Holmqvist stopped only three of
four shots in the third period.
The Hurricanes have won three straight after opening the season with four
losses in a row, while the Lightning have dropped four of five.
Tampa Bay outshot Carolina 35-23, but could not find an answer for Ward until
Nikita Alexeev scored on a rebound with 2:13 left in regulation. Dmitry
Afanasenkov and Luke Richardson picked up assists on the tally.
Carolina's captain kicked off the scoring. With almost 4 1/2 minutes played,
Erik Cole shot a puck wide of the net. The carom found its way onto
Brind'Amour's stick and he took a shot from an odd angle, but the puck
deflected off Denis and over the goal line.
In the second, the Hurricanes blew through the Lightning with gale force winds
with three goals. Williams' wrister, his first of the season came at 3:11, and
gave Carolina a 2-0 lead. Midway through the period, Eric Belanger scored his
second of the season, tipping in a pass from just outside the crease for a
"I thought we played a really good first period," Lightning head coach John
Tortorella said. "We held them to one chance, they score a goal. We have four
or five, we don't score. They were ready to play the second period, and I
watched those first three shifts of our lines and they fed it to us, as far
as what it is to play hard around the puck, especially in the neutral zone."
The lead ballooned to 4-0 with under three minutes left in the period when
Williams finished off a three-way passing play from the sticks of Anton
Babchuk and Brind'Amour for another man-advantage tally.
Williams completed his hat trick on another power play, just 37 seconds into
the third. Standing at the edge of the left circle, Williams took a cross-ice
pass from the ubiquitous Whitney and snuck it short side under the arm of
Carolina didn't record its first win over Tampa until the teams' third meeting
in 2005-2006...Tampa Bay outshot Carolina 16-4 in the third period...Whitney
and Brind'Amour co-lead the Hurricanes with six assists...Tampa hadn't lost a
home game by four goals since a 6-2 loss to Atlanta on April 11th.
10/16 23:07:54 ET