NHL Game Summary - Carolina at Tampa Bay
(Saturday, November 1st)
Final Score: Tampa Bay 4, Carolina 3
Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Cory Stillman scored with 8:09 left to snap a third-period tie, as Tampa Bay remained unbeaten and defeated Carolina, 4-3, at the St. Pete Times Forum.
Vincent Lecavalier tallied two goals and Martin St. Louis also lit the lamp for the Lightning, who improved to a franchise-best start of 7-0-1 and are the only remaining undefeated team in the NHL. Tampa Bay is still a long way from the longest unbeaten streak to start a season, as the 1984-85 Edmonton Oilers began 12-0-3.
Nikolai Khabibulin made 33 stops in the win.
Josef Vasicek, Erik Cole and Radim Vrbata all scored for the Hurricanes, who have lost six of their last eight games in Tampa.
Kevin Weekes stopped 24-of-28 shots in the losing effort.
Cole scored just 47 seconds into the third period to cut the Hurricanes' deficit to 3-2 and Carolina later tied the game on Vrbata's goal at the 9:37 mark.
Bret Hedican skated down the left side of the ice and directed a pass in the slot for Vrbata, who wristed a shot past Khabibulin on the stick side for the equalizer.
However, the Lightning regained the lead on Stillman's score only 2:14 later. Stillman, who had just come out of the penalty box, received a pass from Cory Sarich and harmlessly wristed a shot on goal from the red line. The puck, though, beat Weekes on the goaltender's stick side for the soft goal with 8:09 left in the third.
Carolina was then awarded a power play with 4:12 remaining in the third period, but could not convert.
Tampa Bay scored first on St. Louis' goal with 7:07 left in the first period. Pavel Kubina took a slap shot from the right point that Weekes stopped, but the netminder left a rebound to his right. St. Louis, who was positioned right on the doorstep, banged in the loose puck for his third goal of the year.
Lecavalier's goal with 16:40 left in the second gave the Lightning a 2-0 edge and Tampa Bay later widened the gap to 3-0 on Lecavalier's second score of the night and fifth of the year. Fredrik Modin controlled the puck near the left circle and slipped a pass into the high slot, where Lecavalier one-timed a laser past Weekes with 4:22 remaining in the middle stanza.
Carolina trimmed the gap to 3-1 in the closing minutes of the second period. Eric Staal tried to beat Khabibulin on a wraparound, but the goaltender was up to the task. However, a rebound was left out in front and Vasicek relentlessly poked at the loose puck before finally sliding it by the netminder on his third try.
It was Vasicek's sixth goal of the campaign. At that point, he had scored each of Carolina's last five goals over a three-game span.
The Lightning began last season 5-0-2 before losing to New Jersey...Tampa Bay is 7-3-2 in the last 12 matches with Carolina...Modin had two assists...Kubina also scored from the red line for Tampa Bay in Thursday night's 2-2 tie with San Jose...Carolina was 0-for-4 on the power play, while the Lightning did not score on their three chances with the extra skater.
11/01 22:34:53 ET