Wednesday, November 2, 2011

11/1: Carolina Hurricanes 4 Tampa Bay Lightning 2

On the first day of November, the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Tampa Bay Lightning by a score of 4-2. The story of the night for the Lightning was an emphasis on slow defensive starts on the road. As much as Guy Boucher seemed to be concentrating on that issue, the trend continued. The Lightning started off very slowly in the defensive zone, allowing the Hurricanes to push through their offensive zone with multiple sharp passes in the first period. Dwayne Roloson saved the Lightning in the first however, stopping 18 of 19 shots fired on net by the Hurricanes. Purcell was able to score when a shot from Bergeron was fired from the point. The shot was cleared, but right to Purcell and he beat Cam Ward for the first goal of the night. About three minutes later, the 'Canes scored on the powerplay. Chad LaRose put a rebound into the net, after the original shot managed to get through Roloson.

The 'Canes came out aggressively to start the 2nd period. Within 22 seconds, the 'Canes had the go ahead goal. As the puck was dumped into the Lightning defensive zone, the Hurricanes swarmed in on the fore check, eventually forcing a turnover. Skinner took the puck, skated through the stick checking of Victor Hedman, into to the slot, and fired a shot that beat Roloson to break the tie. Boucher was not happy afterwards. About 5 minutes into the period, the Lightning were on a 2 minute 5-on-3 powerplay. This was a perfect time for the Bolts to tie it, but they could not get the equalizer. However, it was not for lack of effort. Cam Ward made several key stops, including a huge slap shot from Vincent Lecavalier from the high slot. The Lightning seemed to have found their offensive rhythm, as the pelted Cam Ward with shots after the powerplay was over. Then, the Lightning caught a bad break. With the team applying continuous pressure in the offensive zone, Brewer broke his stick while attempting a slap shot. Jokinen picked up the loose puck and moved up the ice with Jeff Skinner. Brewer was back without a stick, and put a hip check into Skinner. The NHL sophomore showed off his figure skating skills, maintaining his balance and passing the puck back to Jokinen. Skinner continued to the net and eventually received a pass for an easy tap in goal to beat Roloson. With about three minutes remaining in the 2nd, Eric Brewer managed to find Lecavalier for a semi-breakaway. Vinny had some space and fired a wicked slap shot on Cam Ward. The shot beat Cam but hit the post and the score remained 3-1 in favor of the 'Canes.

The Lightning, down 2 goals in the 3rd period, made every effort to erase the deficit. The Bolts got the puck on net 13 times during the 3rd, compared to the 'Canes' 4. As the period came closer to ending, the Lightning became more desperate. Then, Martin St. Louis brought the puck with him to the front of the net. Marty's shot was saved and he was dumped onto the ice, but Brett Connolly was there for the rebound goal. This was the first NHL goal for the rookie. The goal lifted the spirits of the Lightning, as they were now back within one goal with over five minutes remaining. About a minute later though, a turnover in the offensive zone sparked a 2-on-1 for the 'Canes into their offensive zone. Tlusty skated the puck in and passed it to LaRose. LaRose was not able to get a solid shot on net, but still managed to get it through a lagging Roloson for a 2nd goal, 4th for the 'Canes on the night. The 'Canes would hang on and close the game by a final score of  4-2.

Lecavalier celebrates Connolly's first goal.

Team Records

Lightning: 5-5-2, 12 pts (next 11/4 vs. Chicago Blackhawks)
Hurricanes: 5-4-3, 13 pts (next 11/4 vs. Washington Capitals)

Three Stars
1st Star: Jeff Skinner
2nd Star: Chad LaRose
3rd Star: Cam Ward

Official Stat Sheet:
Images Via Tampa Bay Lightning and Carolina Hurricanes team site photo galleries.

Video Highlights

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