Carter Verhaeghe sat out the first two games of the series against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Inserted into Saturday night’s game in place of Mitchell Stephens, Verhaeghe played like he wanted to stay in the line-up.
He was hustling up and down the ice all night long, providing even more energy to the fourth line with Cedric Paquette (back in his center spot) and Patrick Maroon. In 8:42 of ice time he threw two hits, a wrap around attempt and one assist. The assist was his first career NHL playoff point.
In true Lightning fashion he helped start the play in the neutral zone as he broke up a meandering Columbus’ pass. He quickly headed into the offensive zone, receiving a pass from Cedric Paquette. Verhaeghe slowed down and cut towards the right circle. With his head up he spotted Victor Hedman streaking down the center of the ice.
A slight hesitation allowed a gap between the Columbus backcheckers and Verhaeghe made a perfect pass to the Norris Trophy-winner. The shot handcuffed Joonas Korpisalo and found the back of the net. It put the Lightning up 3-1 at the time and ended up being the difference in the 3-2 win.
Expect him to be lined up next to Paquette and Maroon again on Monday.