Bolts stave off HurricanesMar 27, 2011 - 4:16 AM
Simon Gagne had two goals for the Lightning, who bounced back from a 4-3 loss to Carolina on Friday. Martin St. Louis added a goal and an assist for Tampa Bay, which snapped a four-game skid.
Mike Smith made 33 saves for the Lightning, who sit fifth in the Eastern Conference with 91 points, still seven behind first-place Washington in the Southeast Division. The Capitals topped the Canadiens in Montreal.
Eric Staal and Erik Cole lit the lamp for the Hurricanes, who had a three-game winning streak snapped. Cam Ward made 28 saves in defeat.
Carolina sits five points back of the Sabres for the eighth and final playoff spot. The Penguins clinched a playoff berth with Carolina's loss.
"Now we're going to need some help here," Hurricanes head coach Paul Maurice said. "We've got to come pretty close to running the table here going out."
Carolina drew first blood on the power play at the 7:07 mark of the first period. Staal's snap shot from the top of the right circle beat Smith.
St. Louis tied the game with 6:04 left. Vincent Lecavalier stole the puck at the blue line and charged down the right side of the ice. Instead of taking a shot from the side of the net, Lecavalier backhanded a pass to the front. St. Louis was right there to beat Ward with a wrister.
Less than four minutes later, Gagne put Tampa Bay in front. Gagne stole the puck at the Carolina blue line and made a nice move to put a backhander past Ward.
The Hurricanes made it 2-2 on Cole's goal with 50.1 seconds remaining in the opening frame. Cory Stillman pretended as if he was going to shoot before dumping the puck to the side of the net. Cole gathered the disc and backhanded a shot past Smith.
Moore scored the lone goal of the middle stanza. Lecavalier fired a shot on net from the point. Ward allowed Moore to jam home the rebound for a 3-2 Tampa Bay lead with 2:07 to go.
Gagne added an empty-net goal late in the third period to seal the victory.
"It feels good," Lecavalier said. "We played 60 minutes, played hard, played physical and did a lot of good things. Now we have to carry it over to the next game."
Tampa Bay has taken three of five games from Carolina this season...Hurricanes rookie defenseman Jamie McBain (shoulder) played in his first game since March 11...Carolina defenseman Joni Pitkanen missed the game due to food poisoning.
- TAMPA BAY: 4
Mar 26 9:35 PM
- Tampa Bay Empty Net Goal - Simon Gagne (16), at 19:11.
Lightning 4, Hurricanes 2 3rd - 0:49Mar 26 9:31 PM
- TAMPA BAY: 3
End of 2nd
Mar 26 8:38 PM
- Tampa Bay Power-Play Goal - Dominic Moore (15), at 17:53.
Lightning 3, Hurricanes 2 2nd - 2:07Mar 26 8:34 PM
- TAMPA BAY: 2
End of 1st
Mar 26 7:43 PM
- Carolina Goal - Erik Cole (23), from Cory Stillman and Bryan Allen at 19:09.
Lightning 2, Hurricanes 2 1st - 0:51Mar 26 7:42 PM
- Tampa Bay Goal - Simon Gagne (15), at 17:36.
Lightning 2, Hurricanes 1 1st - 2:24Mar 26 7:39 PM
- Martin St. Louis backhand shot is wide.
Lightning 1, Hurricanes 1 1st - 5:37Mar 26 7:32 PM
- Carolina Power-Play Goal - Eric Staal (31), at 7:06.
Lightning 0, Hurricanes 1 1st - 12:54Mar 26 7:20 PM
- TAMPA BAY: 0
1st Period - 20:00
Mar 26 7:09 PM
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