After blanking the Hurricanes on Wednesday night, the Lightning, behind goalie Curtis McElhinney, looked to win yet again. A late jolt by the offense proved to be the surge the Bolts needed to take control of the game.
Period one started quickly with both teams itching to score fast. Andrei Svechnikov had a great opportunity, but it rang off the post and the game remained scoreless. Minutes later, Blake Coleman nearly scored on a breakaway, but drew a penalty instead. The Lightning would not get much of a chance on the power play, and Carolina continued to take command of the game. Eventually, the Hurricanes opened up the scoring when Jesper Fast perfectly fed Brett Pesce the puck that easily went past McElhinney. Offensive miscues prevented the Bolts from scoring, but the defense held Carolina for the remainder of the period.
The Bolts looked better to start off the second period, but again could not get anything going with the man advantage. The Hurricanes kept the constant pressure going, but still could not add to their one goal lead. Afterwards, both teams created solid scoring opportunities bur could not find the back of the net. Fortunately for the Lightning, they would eventually get the equalizer. Mikhail Sergachev took the puck off the face-off, powered towards the net, and banked the puck in behind James Reimer. Sergachev’s first goal of the season gave the Bolts some much needed momentum and they nearly scored again soon after. Reimer made an unreal save to prevent the Bolts from taking the lead, and the rest of the period would remain scoreless.
Finishing the job
The Lightning once again started the period with leftover power play time, but again could not score on the man advantage. McElhinney continued to stand tall to prevent the Hurricanes from re-gaining the lead. With about 7 minutes gone by in the period, the Bolts once again got the offensive spark they desperately needed. Yanni Gourde sniped a top-shelf beauty past James Reimer to give the Bolts their first lead of the night. Tampa Bay would not look back following the goal, and the Hurricanes again could not answer McElhinney. For the 2nd straight game, Barclay Goodrow tallied an empty net goal to seal another win for the Lightning against Carolina
It's MR. Yanni Gourde from now on!! pic.twitter.com/pYpHan2Mxe
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) February 26, 2021
Three stars of the game
1st Star: Curtis McElhinney – Saved 31 of 32 shots faced
2nd Star: Mikhail Sergachev – 1g
3rd Star: Brett Pesce – 1g
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