The Lightning and the Hurricanes were both coming off road games the night before meeting in Carolina for their first regular season match up. At the start of the 1st period, Carolina came out skating fast and applying the offensive pressure to their former teammate. Curtis McElhinney, who split playing time in the goal for the Hurricanes last season.
Although Gemel Smith won the faceoff against Lucas Wallmark, 1:54 into the first period, the Hurricanes got on the board when Brett Pesce shot off a pass from Brock McGinn. A little over a minute later, Victor Hedman passed the puck to Tyler Johnson who responded to Carolina’s goal with a slap shot tying up the game 1-1. The Hurricanes are have already shown that they are a fast-paced team that can cause opposing teams to lose composure and fail to set their own rhythm, but the Bolts minutes into the 1st realized that they would have to pick up the pace.
As the period continued, Sergachev found Shattenkirk to assist with a needed goal placing Tampa Bay ahead 2-1. Then 2:16 before the period ended Stamkos netted an unassisted goal. From the pick up in the 1st period the Bolts looked to be in control of the game and managing the Hurricanes rapid pace. The Lightning continued to carry their momentum into the 2nd period until Erik Haula backhand in a power play goal. The 2nd consisted a lot of pressure on the Bolts defensive men and goalie. The Lightning struggled to get shots off on goal which the Hurricanes made an example of all nearly tripling Tampa’s shots on goal. With 7:12 left in the 3rd period, Dougie Hamilton puts a slap shot in the Bolts goal, tying up the game.
As the Lightning fought to not let this game go into overtime, they still struggled to pick up offensively or set up any plays to execute. The frustration continued as the Lighting and the Hurricanes took the game into overtime. Carolina forced their first two games into OT which ended in their favor and last night was no exception as the Hurricanes were first the board in OT securing them the win. Tough loss for Tampa, but Tyler Johnson and Curtis McElhinney had similar post-game comments regarding their struggle to score and create offensive opportunities. Although the Bolts will still be awarded 1pt, they now have their eyes set on Toronto as they continue to their extended on the road schedule.