After dropping 2 of 3 to the Florida Panthers, the Tampa Bay Lightning were scheduled to start a 2 game series with the Dallas Stars this past Thursday. However, the winter storm in Texas and resulting power outages postponed this series. As a result, the league moved some games around. This change sent the Lightning to Raleigh to face the Carolina Hurricanes.
At this point, we aren’t even sure we will ever see the Lightning and Stars play again. The first 2 games between these 2 teams were postponed due to a COVID-19 situation within the Stars organization. This time, the weather postponed 2 more. The NHL and its teams deserve a lot of credit for being ready and willing to adjust scheduling on the fly under the circumstances of life in 2021.
Lethargic from puck drop
There were very few highlights to speak of from this contest. The Bolts just never could find their game tonight in any area. As Anthony Cirelli continues to miss time due to injury, the team’s chemistry is no where to be found.
It didn’t take long for the Lightning to find the penalty box. Just 28 seconds into the game, Erik Cernak took a seat for tripping. Carolina was unable to covert their chance into a goal, and the teams took a scoreless tie into the 2nd period.
The Hurricanes took complete control and never looked back. Tampa Bay became progressively slower and more lethargic as the game went on. Vincent Trocheck broke a scoreless tie just 2:19 into the period, and Sebastian Aho doubled the Canes’ lead at 15:30.
Familiar face haunts Bolts
This was just not the Lightning’s night. It started bad, got worse, and just never seemed to get better. And on a night like this, it was only fitting for former Bolt Cedric Paquette to score against his former team.
We like this Paquette guy. We like him a lot. pic.twitter.com/729neXX2Ar
— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) February 21, 2021
Paquette, along with former Bolts defenseman Braydon Coburn, was traded to the Ottawa Senators in December. Last week, Paquette found himself traded again. This time, he ended up in Raleigh. Just in time to cash in against the team he won a Stanley Cup with just 5 months ago.
Carolina added an empty net goal by Andrei Svechnikov to increase their lead and win a 4-0 decision.
The loss marks the second time Tampa Bay has been shutout by the Hurricanes this season in 2 games. By comparison, the Lightning were shutout a total of 2 times during the last 2 seasons combined.
Next up, the Lightning will face these Hurricanes again on Monday night in Raleigh. The teams then travel down to Tampa to continue this now 4 game series at Amalie Arena on Wednesday and Thursday.
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