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His name is…Jonas. Johansson shines in Lightning’s 3-0 victory over Hurricanes

Oct 24, 2023; Tampa, Florida, USA; Carolina Hurricanes center Jesperi Kotkaniemi (82) and Tampa Bay Lightning center Luke Glendening (11) fight to control the puck during the second period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

A game after making 48 stops against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Jonas Johansson was perfect against the Carolina Hurricanes as he stopped all 32 shots he faced. Brayden Point, Alex Barre-Boulet, and Nick Paul provided the offense in the 3-0 victory while Pytor Kochetkov stopped 20 of 23 shots from the Lightning.

The Bolts had a bit to prove after blowing a two-goal lead in the third period to the Maple Leafs on Saturday, and while they weren’t perfect on defense against the Hurricanes, their compete level was much higher and helped them earn the victory. Carolina is always going to be a tough test with their willingness to shoot from anywhere and their focus on constantly pushing the puck towards the opponent’s net.

The Lightning did catch them at an opportune time, at the end of a long road trip with key players Andrei Svechnikov, Brett Pesce, and Frederik Andersen out with injuries. Still, this team could be buried under 8 feet of snow and they would still manage 50 shot attempts. It was no different on Tuesday night as they piled up 64 shot attempts and 32 shots on goal.

However, the Lightning tightened things up as the game wore on, especially at 5v5. After the ‘Canes had 8 scoring chances in the first period at 5v5, the Lightning limited to just 4 in the second period, and an impressive 0 in the third. Throwing in special teams play and Carolina still had just 28 scoring chances with 16 of them of the high-danger variety.

Better coverage in their own zone and the ability to limit the rebounds and second chances helped the Bolts keep the pressure on Johansson at a minimum. When he needed to be, through, Johansson was absolutely stellar. Solid puck control and excellent puck tracking allowed him to make a 32-save night look relatively easy.

Most importantly, the Lightning didn’t sell out their offense in order to play well in their own zone. Their transition game was strong and Kochetkov had to be on his toes in the first period to keep the game close. After getting stoned earlier by Kochetkov, Brayden Point finally found the back of the net as he tipped home a Victor Hedman point shot with just under a minute to go in the first period.

There was more of the same in the second period as Alex Barre-Boulet had a great look at goal, but ran out of real estate. He sent the puck between Kochetkov’s legs from behind the goal line right to Darren Raddysh. With all eyes focused on the defenseman winding up for a big shot, Barre-Boulet slid back in front of the net and tipped home a shot-pass from Raddysh.

With a two-goal lead heading into the third period, the weight of the game against the Leafs weighed on the Lightning and they came out to face a strong push by Carolina. Solid positioning and quick sticks kept most of the pressure to the outside, and following a penalty kill, the Lightning strung some possession together in the Carolina end. It was Nick Paul, set up by his new linemate Brandon Hagel, who sealed the game with a pinpoint wrister from the left circle.

One last push from the Hurricanes was denied and the Lightning had the victory. They’ll look to build on the win and get a little streak going when they face the San Jose Sharks on Thursday at Amalie Arena.

The Lines

The Goals

Brayden Point (Victor Hedman, Nikita Kucherov) Power Play, 1-0 Lightning

Alex Barre-Boulet (Darren Raddysh, Brayden Point) 2-0 Lightning

Nick Paul (Brandon Hagel, Mikhail Sergachev) 3-0 Lightning

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