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Whitney's two goals help Hurricanes end skid

Dec 17, 2006 - 6:27 AM
TAMPA, Florida (Ticker) -- Ray Whitney took it upon himself to end the Carolina Hurricanes' doldrums.

Whitney scored two goals and Cam Ward made 30 saves as the Hurricanes edged the Tampa Bay Lightning, 3-2, to snap a five-game losing streak.

After forging a 1-1 tie during a power play just over 13 minutes into the second period, Whitney completed his third multi-goal game of the season with 84 seconds to go in the third. With Carolina clinging to a 2-1 advantage, Whitney scored on a breakaway, sliding the puck between goaltender Marc Denis' pads to create breathing room.

"Tonight, we knew we were playing well," said Whitney, who has 12 goals this season. "We didn't get frustrated. We knew the other team is going to get opportunities. It's how you react to them, and I think tonight we did a good job of reacting to them."

The goal proved crucial as the Lightning sliced the deficit to 3-2 with 56 seconds left. With an extra attacker on the ice, Martin St. Louis snapped the puck past Ward for his 20th tally, marking the fourth consecutive season the University of Vermont product has reached the plateau.

St. Louis, Vincent Lecavalier and Brad Richards have combined to score 51 of Tampa Bay's 105 goals this season.

Eric Staal scored the other goal for Carolina, which improved to 3-1 against Tampa Bay this season. The tally extended Staal's points streak to four games.

Ryan Craig netted a goal and Denis made 24 saves for the Lightning, who fell to 1-7-1 in their last nine.

"We've got to stop the bleeding," St. Louis said. "We're saying the same thing over and over and over. Did we play bad tonight? No. We battled. It's not good enough. We all know that. It's about results. We just need one win. One win. We're looking for that one win, and then we start tilting the other way."

"We're not doing enough to win," Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella said. "The worst thing we can do right now is be down. We've got to try to stay within our team concept, try to stay positive. There's no feeling sorry for a team that's struggling like we are. We've got to stay strong in that area right on through and try to find a way to get one win."

Tampa Bay gets its next opportunity to straighten itself out at Washington on Tuesday.

"Since I've been here, it's the worst stretch we've been in," Lightning captain Tim Taylor said. "It's very disheartening. We have to turn this situation around now."

The victory snapped a personal three-game losing streak for Ward, who surrendered 11 goals during the skid.

"This win was a huge relief," Ward said. "It was important, especially against a division opponent, and since Tampa Bay is going through something like this also. Everyone wants to beat us since we're the defending Stanley Cup champions."

Carolina coach Peter Laviolette was relieved his team's skid came to an end but was not overly thrilled.

"It's one win after a tough stretch," he said. "You have to give our guys a lot of credit. But we're not out of the woods yet. We have to put some wins together before the beginning of the year (2007) to get back to where we were. When you look at our last five games, this is the best all-around effort we've had.

"I still think we need to tighten up more defensively. We're giving up a little bit too much, and we relied on Cam a little bit too much tonight."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CAROLINA 0 1 2 3
    TAMPA BAY 0 1 1 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: TAM - RYAN CRAIG 9 (BRAD RICHARDS, VACLAV PROSPAL) 7:49
    CAR - (PP) RAY WHITNEY 11 (KEITH AUCOIN) 13:05
    3RD PRD: CAR - ERIC STAAL 17 (ERIK COLE) 12:58
    CAR - RAY WHITNEY 12 (JUSTIN WILLIAMS, ERIC BELANGER)

    Dec 16 10:05 PM


  • NHL
    CAROLINA 3
    TAMPA BAY 2
    3RD PRD: TAM - (PP) MARTIN ST. LOUIS 20 (TIM TAYLOR, RYAN CRAIG) 19:04

    Hurricanes vs. LightningDec 16 10:04 PM


  • NHL
    CAROLINA 3
    TAMPA BAY 1
    3RD PRD: CAR - RAY WHITNEY 12 (JUSTIN WILLIAMS, ERIC BELANGER) 18:36

    Hurricanes vs. LightningDec 16 10:00 PM


  • NHL
    CAROLINA 2
    TAMPA BAY 1
    3RD PRD: CAR - ERIC STAAL 17 (ERIK COLE) 12:58

    Hurricanes vs. LightningDec 16 9:49 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CAROLINA 0 1 1
    TAMPA BAY 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: TAM - RYAN CRAIG 9 (BRAD RICHARDS, VACLAV PROSPAL) 7:49
    CAR - (PP) RAY WHITNEY 11 (KEITH AUCOIN) 13:05
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CAR 8 11

    Dec 16 9:06 PM


  • NHL
    CAROLINA 1
    TAMPA BAY 1
    2ND PRD: CAR - (PP) RAY WHITNEY 11 (KEITH AUCOIN) 13:05

    Hurricanes vs. LightningDec 16 8:53 PM


  • NHL
    CAROLINA 0
    TAMPA BAY 1
    2ND PRD: TAM - RYAN CRAIG 9 (BRAD RICHARDS, VACLAV PROSPAL) 7:49

    Hurricanes vs. LightningDec 16 8:41 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CAROLINA 0 0
    TAMPA BAY 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CAR 8 8
    TAM 10 10
    GOALIES: CAR - CAM WARD
    TAM - MARC DENIS

    Dec 16 8:11 PM