Game 65: Bolts beat 'Canes 4-3 in OT, set new franchise record with ninth straight win
It took almost all of the extra five minutes, but the Lightning came from behind in the third period to take a 4-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes, setting a new record for the franchise with their ninth consecutive victory.
The Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3 in overtime at Amalie Arena in Tampa Saturday night.
With about ten minutes remaining in regulation, the Lightning's winning streak was in jeopardy of ending at eight, which would have tied the franchise record established during the Stanley Cup Championship season of 2003-04. The Lightning had surrendered the lead twice and had fallen behind the visitors 3-2.
"I think the team has a lot of character and confidence with one another and we know that when we need to step up, we can step up. We have been playing a lot better lately and I think we can do better. I think this team, until that final buzzer sounds, we always think we can win and that means a lot." - Tyler Johnson
Ondrej Palat opened the scoring at 16:43 of the first, just after the Lightning had successfully killed off a Hooking penalty called on Victor Hedman. Palat pulled off a nifty move at the blue line and then some sleight-of-hand stick handling near the right circle to free himself for the goal. Tyler Johnson was credited with an assist on the play.
That goal held up through the end of the period.
At 13:24 of the second, Carolina tied it on a goal from Victor Rask, assisted by Phillip Di Giuseppe.
The Lightning re-took the lead just over two minutes later when Palat netted his second goal of the night, this time getting help from Nikita Kucherov.
"That line had a great night obviously. (Palat) was phenomenal, (Johnson) and (Kucherov) were buzzing there so you had a feeling something good was going to happen. They were working hard and that's what happened. They get rewarded for getting the puck in deep and going to work there." - Ben Bishop
The Lightning carried the 2-1 lead into the second intermission.
At 3:09 of the third, the Hurricanes converted on the power play, a puck that dribbled down Bishop's leg pad to get the tying goal from Jordan Staal with assists from Elias Lindholm and Rask.
The Lightning had a golden opportunity to go back in front when Riley Nash was sent to the box for four-minutes after his high stick hit Palat in the face, but they were unable to cash in.
Carolina took the lead at 10:18, with Jeff Skinner scoring on assists from Di Giusseppe and Ryan Murphy.
Tyler Johnson tied it again at 13:42, scoring with help from Kucherov and Vladislav Namestnikov.
The Lightning had another great opportunity when Ron Hainsey was whistled for holding at 16:06, but they were again unable to score with the man advantage. On the night, they went 0-for-4 on the power play.
Regulation ended with the teams tied at three.
Alex Killorn ended it at 4:17 of overtime with a terrific individual effort, carrying the puck all the way from the Lightning zone, coming in close and skating past Hurricanes netminder Eddie Lack, waiting and flipping the puck over him. Valtteri Filppula was credited with the lone assist.
"I was trying to figure out how to make a play and just ended up skating up the ice. They called me off but I knew one of their guys was a forward playing defense so I just had to step on him and took it wide of the goalie" - Killorn
The Lightning will be in action again on Monday night when they visit the Flyers in Philadelphia.
- This was the third and final regular season meeting between the former Southeast Division rivals, with the Lightning sweeping the season series.
- The Lightning are now 55-45-5 with 10 ties all-time against Carolina, with a record of 32-19-1 and three ties at home.
- The Lightning are now 6-3-0 this season in the first game at home after a multi-game road trip.
- In spite of falling behind in this one, the Lightning improved to 29-5-0 when scoring first and 30-1-0 when leading after two periods.
- The Lightning are 21-6-0 in 2016.
- Filppula broke a 10-game scoreless streak.
- The Lightning are 29-2-3 when scoring three or more goals this season, with a current winning streak of 16 in those games.
- Palat recorded his 10th goal of the season, becoming the seventh Bolt to reach double figures.
- The Lightning have won six straight overtime/shootout games, are undefeated in overtime, winning seven overall and two losses coming in shootouts.
- Longtime Raw Charge community member, the subject of the Lightning's "Distant Thunder" campaign, which highlights Lightning fans who live abroad, was in the house tonight, his first visit to the home of his favorite team.
- The Lightning honored Lizzie Dolan as the 33rd Lightning Community Hero of the 2015-16 season during the first period of tonight's game. Dolan, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to All Children's Hospital and Academy of the Holy Names. Tonight's community hero has empowered teens in order for them to accomplish their dreams. At the age of 16, Dolan formed Cross Out Cancer, an organization that helped organize a 5K race with cross-country runners throughout the Tampa Bay area. Along with other teens, she assisted in recruiting sponsors, runners and support to raise money to battle pediatric cancer. The idea stemmed while volunteering at Camp Agape where she bonded with a young girl whose brother was battling cancer. Dolan's experience motivated her to take action on the behalf of families who are making incredible sacrifices to overcome cancer. Under her leadership, the inaugural 5K raised more than $40,000 for All Children's Hospital with recruitment of 400 runners of all ages. The money raised will aid families who have been affected by cancer through financial and supportive means. Dolan aims to empower teenagers to become inspiring philanthropists, which will result in lifelong lessons that they will never forget.
Dolan becomes the 212th Lightning Community Hero since Jeff and Penny Vinik introduced the program in 2011-12 with a $10 million, five-season commitment to the Tampa Bay community. Through this evening's game, in total, the Lightning Foundation has granted $10.75 million to more than 300 different non-profits in the Greater Tampa Bay area.
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