The Tampa Bay Lightning lost a tough road matchup Tuesday night, falling to the Carolina Hurricanes by a score of 3-2. For Carolina, the win ended a four-game losing streak. As for the Lightning, the loss marks their second in a row.
Dominating the Power Play
Carolina out-performed Tampa Bay on power plays. The Hurricanes scored twice while a man up, both in the second period. Martin Necas scored the first for the Canes. Necas received a pass from Ethan Bear and took a long-range shot that found its way under the stick of Andrei Vasilevskiy. The second power play goal came seven minutes later by way of Tony DeAngelo. The shot was taken from the the Lightning’s blue line and next to the wall. It took a deflection off the stick of Vincent Trochek and found its way into the net for Carolina’s second goal of the period where the Hurricanes took the lead for good.
The Hurricanes also killed both power plays won by the Lightning. Tampa Bay ranks 16th in the league in penalty kill percentage, whereas Carolina tops the league in the penalty kill. The gap showed, and it ended up being the difference of the game.
Nick Paul’s First Game with Lightning
Acquired from Ottawa a day before the trade deadline, Nick Paul made his Lightning debut against Carolina. His impact was quickly felt, as he scored his first goal with the Lightning in the second period to tie the game 1-1.
This new guy is pretty good, eh? pic.twitter.com/OXEwcr5fHL
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) March 23, 2022
Paul spent just under 10 minutes on the ice in his debut with the Lightning. The 27-year old has now scored a career-high 12 goals in 60 games this season.
Scoring and Statistics
The Lightning’s second goal was scored by Alex Killorn with a minute to go. Nikita Kucherov and Victor Hedman each earned assists. Sebastian Aho tucked away the third goal for Carolina, with assists from Seth Jarvis and Jaccob Slavin.
Carolina also out-shot Tampa Bay, taking 41 shots on goal as opposed to Tampa Bay’s 29. The Lightning did win the majority of faceoffs, however, taking 44 of them over Carolina’s 26. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 41 saves to give himself a save percentage of .927, slightly above his season average.
The Lightning have lost their second game in a row and still trail the Panthers for the top spot in the division. With Toronto and Boston only one point behind, every game becomes vital to keep the Lightning in playoff position. The next games for Tampa Bay are all on the road as they face the Bruins, Red Wings and Islanders.
As for the Hurricanes, the win keeps them three points clear of the Penguins to maintain their lead over the Metropolitan division. They also tie the Panthers for first place in the Eastern Conference with 90 points on the season, though Florida has played one less game. Carolina next plays at home against Dallas on Thursday, followed by a three-game road trip.