NHL Game Summary - Carolina at Tampa Bay
(Saturday, October 11th)
Final Score: Carolina 4, Tampa Bay 3 (OT)
Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Eric Staal's second goal of the game with 23.6 seconds left in overtime led the Carolina Hurricanes to a 4-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning at St. Pete Times Forum.
With time winding down in the extra session, a turnover in the Carolina end resulted in Ray Whitney grabbing the puck and skating down the other end on a 2-on-1 break. On the fly, Whitney faked a shot from the top of the right circle and fed the puck to Staal, who shot it into the virtually empty net for the win.
Rod Brind'Amour had a goal and an assist while Matt Cullen also scored for the Hurricanes, who have won two straight to start the season. Michael Leighton made 26 saves in the win.
Vincent Lecavalier, Mark Recchi and Janne Niskala each scored a goal for the Lightning, who have dropped three in a row to start the season under new coach Barry Melrose. Mike Smith stopped 42 shots in the loss.
Carolina trailed, 3-0, in the second period, but scored three unanswered goals to tie the game.
The Hurricanes got back into the game with a late power-play goal. With Matthew Carle in the box for holding, Joni Pitkanen wristed a shot from the left circle that Brind'Amour tipped in from in front of the net with nine seconds left in the second.
Carolina used another man advantage to make it a one-goal game. Brind'Amour's initial shot was stopped by Smith, but Cullen pounced on the rebound and slammed it home with 1:56 gone in the third.
Exactly eight minutes later, the Hurricanes tied the contest. Dennis Seidenberg fired a pass from the right point down to Staal at the low right circle. Staal sent a shot on net that deflected off the stick of a Lightning player and got past Smith.
Tampa got on the scoreboard first on a goal from Recchi. Carle blasted a shot from the right point that Leighton stopped, but the rebound popped into the air and Recchi, from the left side, whacked it into the net for a 1-0 lead at the 8:20 mark of the first.
The Lightning extended their lead two minutes later on a power-play goal. On a rush into the Carolina end, Vinny Prospal fired a pass from the left circle to the slot where Niskala blasted a slap shot that beat Leighton for his first NHL goal.
Smith stopped all 12 shots he faced in the first period to keep the Hurricanes off the board.
Tampa made it a 3-0 game in the second courtesy of a 5-on-3 power-play goal. With Staal in the box, Leighton was called for tripping to give Tampa a two- man advantage. A left circle faceoff win went back to Jamie Heward at the left point. Heward fired a pass to Martin St. Louis in the high slot and St. Louis skated over to the top of the left circle. A pass to Lecavalier at the right circle was one-timed past Leighton with 10:59 left in the second.
Carolina returns home to face Detroit on Monday...The Lightning have off until Thursday when they will host the Islanders...These teams split the series last season, with each winning four games...Tampa dropped a pair of games to the Rangers in Prague, Czech Republic last weekend to open its regular season...Tampa went 2-for-7 on the power play while Carolina finished 2-for-9 on the man advantage.
10/11 22:33:10 ET