NHL Game Summary - Tampa Bay at Carolina
(Friday, November 23rd)
Final Score: Carolina 4, Tampa Bay 3
Raleigh, NC (Sports Network) - Glen Wesley capped a three-goal, third-period rally by netting the game-winner as the Carolina Hurricanes stunned the Tampa Bay Lightning, 4-3, in a Southeast Division battle at the RBC Center.
Eric Staal, Ray Whitney and Justin Williams also scored for Carolina, which has won two of three. Erik Cole and Cory Stillman each finished with a pair of helpers and Cam Ward had with 25 saves in the victory as the Hurricanes snapped a six-game losing streak to Tampa Bay.
Paul Ranger, Vinny Prospal and Vincent Lecavalier all tallied for the Lightning, who have lost three straight. Lecavalier also had an assist, Martin St. Louis added a pair of helpers and Johan Holmqvist made 18 saves in defeat.
Trailing 3-1, Carolina cut its deficit just 1:56 into the third, as Whitney took a pass from Matt Cullen and blasted a shot from the left circle that beat Holmqvist on the short side.
The Hurricanes then caught Tampa on a line change and made it a 3-3 game. Rod Brind'Amour led the odd-man rush, and from just inside the blue line sent a pass right-to-left for Williams, whose long wrister from between the circles tied it at 6:01.
Wesley capped the rally, putting Carolina on top 4-3 when he wristed a shot through traffic and past the screened Holmqvist at 8:39. It was Wesley's first goal of the season.
"We started to move the puck in their end and whip it at the net and good things can happen when you put it at the net," said Carolina head coach Peter Laviolette. "The process in the third was better. We clearly weren't doing that much in the first and at all in the second."
The Hurricanes jumped out to an early 1-0 lead, as Staal stuffed the puck by Holmqvist from beside the net just 4:53 into the contest.
The Lightning tied it with 5:57 remaining in the front stanza, though, as Ranger buried the puck in the back of the cage for his fifth of the season, with the helpers going to Michel Ouellet and Brad Richards.
Prospal broke the tie 12:08 into the middle stanza when he finished off a perfect give-and-go, knocking a drop pass from St. Louis into the back of the cage to give the Lightning a 2-1 edge.
Lecavalier then made it 3-1 on a highlight reel goal with 5:33 left in the second, as he accepted a pass from St. Louis, carried the puck down low to the left of the net and, fighting off 'Canes defenseman Bret Hedican, was able to backhand the puck past Ward.
"You expect surges, but the key is, not giving the other team the puck if you can't make a play and that's what started everything," said Lightning head coach John Tortorella. "I thought it was probably two of the best periods we've played all year long and then we just absolutely just stopped doing the things we were doing."
Cole rejoined the Hurricanes after missing four games with a neck injury. He now has three goals and 11 assists in 15 games this season...Staal's goal was the 100th of his career...Wesley's goal was his first since February 22, a span of 36 games...Lecavalier now has nine points in three games against the Hurricanes and 23 in his last 10 overall...Tampa Bay had outscored the Hurricanes 11-2 in the first two games between the teams this season...The 22 shots on goal for the Hurricanes were the fewest they've had all season. Their previous low was 23.
11/23 22:26:03 ET