NHL Game Summary - Carolina at Tampa Bay|
(Tuesday, April 3rd)
Final Score: Tampa Bay 3, Carolina 2
Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Dan Boyle scored the game-winning goal early in
the third period as the Tampa Bay Lightning downed the Carolina Hurricanes,
3-2, at St. Pete Times Forum.
Vincent Lecavalier and Eric Perrin each added a goal for the Lightning, who
have won three straight.
Johan Holmqvist stopped 23 shots for Tampa Bay, which now has 92 points and
sits in the sixth spot in the Eastern Conference, tied with the Rangers, who
lost in a shootout to the Islanders. Also, Tampa Bay is just one point behind
idle Atlanta for first place in the Southeast Division.
"As I've said, the team has some fight in it," said Tampa Bay coach John
Tortorella. "From face-off to the end of the game I thought we played solid.
And the good thing about it is that we didn't get frustrated, we kept on going
and tried to find a way."
Rod Brind'Amour had a goal and an assist and Ray Whitney added a goal for the
Hurricanes, who have dropped four of their last five and are now out of the
hunt for a playoff spot. Cam Ward stopped 27 shots in the loss.
Carolina is now the first team since the 1995-96 Devils to miss the playoffs
after winning the Stanley Cup the previous season.
"Obviously it was our biggest loss of the year," said Carolina forward Cory
Stillman. "We had an opportunity to stay in the playoffs and we let one slip
Tampa Bay was trailing 2-0 early in the second period, but scored three
unanswered goals to take the lead.
The Lightning got on the board at the 8:33 mark of the second when Jason Ward
rushed into the Carolina end down the left wing and from the low left side
flung a pass over the stick of a Carolina defender to Perrin, who banged the
puck into the net out of mid-air to make it a 2-1 game.
Tampa Bay tied the game just 1:20 into the third period when Lecavalier scored
on a wrist shot from the slot for his league-leading 52nd goal of the season.
The Lightning then grabbed their first lead of the game less than two minutes
later as Boyle grabbed the puck in the neutral zone, split the defense and
from the slot snapped a wrister into the left corner of the net for a 3-2
Holmqvist was called upon several times in the third period to preserve the
lead and he stood tall as he stopped 13 shots in the final frame to preserve
Carolina drew first blood in the game as Whitney poked in the puck on his
second attempt during a scrum in front with 7:31 to play in the first.
Ward was busy in the first period as he had to stop 14 Tampa Bay shots to keep
the Lightning off the board.
The Hurricanes made it a 2-0 game in the second when Brind'Amour tapped in a
loose puck at the right side of the net for his 25th goal of the season during
a Carolina power play just 1:25 into the second.
Carolina, which finished the season 19-18-4 on the road, hosts Atlanta on
Friday...Tampa Bay hosts Florida on Friday...Tampa Bay took five of eight
games against Carolina this season...Carolina went 1-for-3 on the power play
while Tampa Bay failed to score in its two chances.
04/04 00:30:43 ET