for this game

Jokinen, Halpern help Lightning play spoiler

Mar 30, 2008 - 4:27 AM
TAMPA, Florida (Ticker) -- With nothing left to play for but pride, the Tampa Bay Lightning reminded the Carolina Hurricanes that nothing is a sure thing in the NHL.

Jeff Halpern snapped a tie in the third period and Karri Ramo made 38 saves to lead the Lightning to a 2-1 victory over the Hurricanes on Saturday.

Jussi Jokinen added a goal and an assist for Tampa Bay, which currently sits in last place in the Eastern Conference with 71 points but has a chance to have a major impact on this season's playoffs with another game against Carolina still to play as well as a battle with Washington next week.

Carolina entered the contest with a chance to clinch the Southeast Division and the No. 3 seed in the East. Needing a full two points against Lightning and a regulation loss by the Capitals, the Hurricanes got neither.

"We had 60 attempts at the net. We outshot them, 2-1. We played hard, especially after traveling last night to get down here," Carolina coach Peter Laviolette said. "When you run into a goaltender that's playing well and a defense that's stingy in front of their net, ...

"They block a lot of shots, stick-check a lot of pucks. It's never a tic-tac-toe type of game, and we just couldn't seem to find a handle on one of them."

Washington (40-31-8), which posted a 3-0 win over the Florida Panthers on Saturday, now sits just two points behind the Hurricanes (42-31-6) for the top spot in the division.

"We wanted this one, but it didn't happen, and we've got to look forward," Carolina center Eric Staal said. "Leave this one here and look forward to Tuesday in Washington and play a complete game and get a win."

With the game deadlocked at 1-1 early in the third period, Tampa Bay grabbed the lead at 5:43, when defenseman Alexandre Picard stole the puck deep in his own zone and found Jokinen, who hit Halpern with a pass near the right faceoff circle.

"It was a play on Erik Cole," Picard said of his defensive play. "He got me in the first period and he's a fast player, so I just wanted to protect the middle of the ice and I got a stick on the puck and it went the other way."

Halpern fired a hard wrist shot, beating goaltender Cam Ward to the glove side for a 2-1 advantage.

"We were just coming off a shift and Jussi made a pass with (Sergei) Samsonov (back) on defense," Halpern said. "I wanted to beat him. I don't think I've beaten a guy 1-on-1 in 15 years, and he opened up a little bit and I took a shot high that I wasn't really aiming. It just found a hole."

Ramo was outstanding in the contest, stopping 12 shots in the first, 14 in the second and 12 in the third while also recording an assist.

"I guess they had a chance to clinch here, to win, so they were desperate," Ramo said. "But our team has played pretty good lately and we had a lot of confidence in each other. ... We were able to come out on top."

The Hurricanes opened the scoring with 2:36 remaining in the first, when Trevor Letowski streaked down the left wing before finding Chad LaRose in the slot. LaRose received the puck on his backhand before switching to his forehand and beating Ramo with a wrister from the doorstep.

"They're a good team and we respect them," Letowski said. "They always give us tough games and we've had a tough time beating them - especially in this building - and it was a battle tonight. It could have gone either way. They made big saves, but our goalie played well, too, so it was just one of those ones."

Tampa Bay answered just 18 seconds into the second period. Still on the power play created by LaRose's elbowing penalty at the end of the first, Ramo fed the puck to defenseman Dan Boyle, who hit Jokinen streaking up the middle of the ice for a breakaway.

The Finnish left wing came straight down the slot before beating Ward with a backhander for his first power-play goal since joining the Lightning at the trading deadline in a deal with the Dallas Stars involving Brad Richards.

"I think Danny Boyle's a great puck-moving defenseman," Jokinen said. "He reminds me a lot of Sergei Zubov with Dallas. I played with him three years, so they both are pretty much the same style of defenseman - great puck-movers, great hockey sense, great passers. So I'm honored to play with him."

The assist was the first career point for Ramo.

"Boyler made a great play, and Jussi is probably one of the best in the league in breakaways, so he buried it," Ramo said.

Ward finished with 19 saves.






  • 27
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    bigbelly Added 5 roots

    Hurricanes 1, Lightning 2  FinalMar 29 11:39 PM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CAROLINA 1 0 0 1
    TAMPA BAY 0 1 1 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CAR - CHAD LAROSE 8 (TREVOR LETOWSKI, TUOMO RUUTU) 17:24
    2ND PRD: TAM - (PP) JUSSI JOKINEN 16 (DAN BOYLE, KARRI RAMO) 0:18
    3RD PRD: TAM - JEFF HALPERN 19 (JUSSI JOKINEN, ALEXANDRE PICARD) 5:43
    POWER-PLAY CONVERSIONS:

    Mar 29 10:00 PM
  • 22
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    RUWTbot Added 17 roots (Close Finish)

    Hurricanes 1, Lightning 2  3rd - 1:20Mar 29 9:57 PM


  • NHL
    CAROLINA 1
    TAMPA BAY 2
    3RD PRD: TAM - JEFF HALPERN 19 (JUSSI JOKINEN, ALEXANDRE PICARD) 5:43

    Hurricanes 1, Lightning 2  3rd - 14:17Mar 29 9:36 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CAROLINA 1 0 1
    TAMPA BAY 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CAR - CHAD LAROSE 8 (TREVOR LETOWSKI, TUOMO RUUTU) 17:24
    2ND PRD: TAM - (PP) JUSSI JOKINEN 16 (DAN BOYLE, KARRI RAMO) 0:18
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CAR 13 13

    Mar 29 9:11 PM


  • NHL
    CAROLINA 1
    TAMPA BAY 1
    2ND PRD: TAM - (PP) JUSSI JOKINEN 16 (DAN BOYLE, KARRI RAMO) 0:18

    Hurricanes 1, Lightning 1  2nd - 19:42Mar 29 8:33 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CAROLINA 1 1
    TAMPA BAY 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CAR - CHAD LAROSE 8 (TREVOR LETOWSKI, TUOMO RUUTU) 17:24
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CAR 13 13
    TAM 10 10
    GOALIES: CAR - CAM WARD
    TAM - K

    Mar 29 8:16 PM


  • NHL
    CAROLINA 1
    TAMPA BAY 0
    1ST PRD: CAR - CHAD LAROSE 8 (TREVOR LETOWSKI, TUOMO RUUTU) 17:24

    Hurricanes 1, Lightning 0  1st - 2:36Mar 29 8:10 PM
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    Againigan Added 5 roots

    Hurricanes vs. LightningMar 29 6:46 PM