After not playing a game in four days, the Tampa Bay Lightning looked to bounce back against the speedy Carolina Hurricanes. What transpired, however, was an eventful goalie showdown that did not end the way the Bolts would have liked it to.
Carolina takes control
The game began with the Hurricanes applying pressure early. After some good chances by the Hurricanes, the Lightning got an early chance at the power play. Brock McGinn was called for a hook on Brayden Point and the Lightning power play went to work early. Unfortunately for the Bolts, neither unit could create any scoring opportunities, keeping the game scoreless. Minutes later, Carolina went on the power play as Ryan McDonagh was called for slashing against Morgan Geekie. The penalty kill was sloppy for the Bolts, but Andrei Vasilevskiy was able to bail them out with some spectacular saves. Carolina continued to dominate the game for the remainder of the period, but later on coughed up a late penalty to give the Lightning another power play that would carry over into the 2nd period. A showdown between the goalies was on the horizon.
Bolts turn the tide
Despite having a power play to start the period, the Lightning still could not break through the Hurricanes defense. Unlike the first period, the Lightning offense came alive and took over for a majority of the period. Some great chances were had by both teams, but the game continued to be an exciting goalie battle. Flurries of saves were a plenty by both Petr Mrazek and Andrei Vasilevskiy while the offenses on both sides of the ice were explosive. It was a well disciplined period for both teams until the final whistle blew. Tampa Bay did not realize there was more time than they initially thought and Victor Hedman was caught for slashing to end the period.
Saves a plenty
The Lightning penalty kill was hard at work to start the 3rd period and successfully killed off the penalty to Hedman. The third period was more of the same as the previous. Both goalies continued to steal the show with their stellar play along with more saves for the highlight reel. The Bolts did get another power play opportunity minutes after killing the Hurricanes penalty but still could not get a puck past Mrazek. Overtime would be needed to settle the score.
No chance in overtime
From the moment the puck dropped in overtime, Carolina took possession and never gave it back. Tampa Bay never had a chance to take control of the puck and the Hurricanes then seized the opportunity to win the game. Martin Necas fired a wrist shot past Vasilevski to win the game for the Hurricanes. Despite the lone goal being scored in overtime, the game ended up being a thrilling goalie battle with non-stop action. The Lightning will now look to rebound against the Nashville Predators on Saturday.
Three Stars of the Game
1st Star: Petr Mrazek – Stopped all 32 shots faced
2nd Star: Martin Necas – Scored the game winning goal in overtime
3rd Star: Andrei Vasilevskiy – Saved 34 of 35 shots faced
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