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Lightning lose to Hurricanes, 6-0

Teuvo Teravainen recorded a hat trick and the Carolina Hurricanes converted on four of their five power plays as they soundly defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-0 on Sunday. Andrei Svechnikov, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, and Shayne Gostisbehere added goals while Frederik Andersen stopped all 14 shots he faced on the night. Andrei Vasilevskiy faced 38 shots and stopped 32 of them. The Lightning played most of the game without Victor Hedman as he collided awkwardly with the boards early in the second period.

Before we get into the rest of this recap, let’s talk about something fun. The movie Cocaine Bear. Directed by Elizabeth Banks and starring Keri Russell, O’Shea Jackson, Jr., Margo Martindale, and the late Ray Liotta, Cocaine Bear follows the story of a bear that, well….does cocaine.

Extremely loosely based on a real life event – drug smugglers dumped a bunch of cocaine into the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest and a bear ingested about 40 containers of  the yayo. That’s where the similarity ends.

Look, will this movie win a Best Picture? No. Does it make some deep commentary on the social mores of drug use and the failed war on drugs? No. Does it feature an angry bear on booger sugar? Yes. That’s all you need to know.

The plot revolves around two members the drug gang led by Liotta retrieving the bags of coke spread across the forest. Jackson and a forlorn Alden Ehrenreich (young Han Solo) are the two members sent to do the dirty work. Isiah Whitlock, Jr plays a cop tracking the gang while Margo Martindale is the park ranger who has a really, really bad day. Throw in a mother (Keri Russell) looking for her daughter and her daughter’s friend who cut school to paint a waterfall in the park and you have the main characters.

Banks doesn’t lean away from the gore associated with a whacked out bear, the sheer absurdity of a chase scene involving an ambulance is worth the price of admission. Writer Jimmy Warden sprinkled in several solid jokes among some of the more schlock dialogue to get genuine laughs out of the audience.

It’s exactly what you think a movie centered around a bear on cocaine would be. So, if you need a break from the Lightning losing streak for about 90 minutes, go see it.

Now, if you really want to continue with the recap, here we go. I won’t blame you if you bail on it, though.

Coach Cooper continued to use his expanded roster to rest some of the older players. Pierre-Edouard Bellemare drew back in with Pat Maroon getting a break on the back-to-back. The “Benched” Line was reunited as Steven Stamkos joined Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov. On the back-end Haydn Fleury returned to the line-up for the first game since the February 26th loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

First Period:

The Hurricanes had the early push but the Lightning were holding their coverage pretty well and getting some strong backchecking from their forwards. Nikita Kucherov even drew a penalty after hustling back to break up a play. Unfortunately the power play couldn’t produce many opportunities of a dangerous nature. Shortly after the penalty was over, Andrei Svechnikov had a look from the left circle and roofed a perfect shot just over Vasilevskiy’s shoulder.

Andrei Svechnikov (unassisted)  1-0 Hurricanes

This is a bit of a tough goal on the Lightning, but when you’re slumping these things happen. Zach Bogosian knocked down the initial shot, but didn’t find the puck right away. He spun to the inside which left Svechnikov enough room to collect and fire it home.

There was progress in the defensive efforts by the Lightning in the first period as the forwards in particular were supporting their defensive teammates. Unfortunately it seemed to come at the expense of their offense. Carolina absolutely shut the door on them in the opening 20 minutes limiting them to just 4 shot attempts, 2 shots on goals, and 0 scoring chances at 5v5 according to Natural Stat Trick.

A late penalty by Tanner Jeannot led to the first power play for the Hurricanes. For the most part the Lightning shut it down, but as has been the case during this slump, any mistake or bad break has ended up in the back of their net. Alex Killorn came out to challenge the point, and lost an edge. He stumbled for just a second, but long enough to open up a cross-ice passing lane that Jespari Kotkaniemi took advantage of as he slotted a pass to Teuvo Teravainen. The hot was in almost the same spot as Svechnikov’s and had the same result.

Teuvo Teravainen (Jespari Kitkaniemi, Shayne Gostibehare) Power Play, 2-0 Hurricanes

Second Period:

Starting the middle frame down two goals to one of the toughest teams in terms of pressure wasn’t a great way to start. Losing Victor Hedman just minutes into the period made it even worse. The leader of the Lightning defense was turning to clear a puck out of the zone when Svechnikov hit him (legally). The momentum carried Hedman into the boards and he hit awkwardly. He was down on the ice for awhile before being helped off the ice by Stamkos.

During the slump, Coach Cooper has repeated several times that it seems every mistake ends up in the back of their net. This time it was Andrei Vasilevskiy who sent a pass out from behind his net. A common enough play that usually works better if the puck doesn’t split his teammates and end up on the opponent’s stick. A couple of quick passes and the puck was in the back of the net.

Teuvo Teravainen (Martin Necas, Jesperi Kotkaniemi) 3-0 Canes

Want to know how things are going for the Lightning? Zach Bogosian was in the box for a post-scrum penalty. Brandon Hagel got a shorthanded breakaway and beats Frederik Andersen cleanly. The only problem was that the pesky post got in the way. Play goes the other way and Shayne Gostisbehere slaps one past Vasilevskiy.

Shayne Gostisbehere (Martin Necas, Jespari Kotkaniemi) Power Play, 4-0 Canes

Oh, and prior to that, Nikita Kucherov had joined Hedman, who had tried to return in the locker room after taking a puck to the face.

If the benching of their top offensive players was the story of yesterday’s game, getting held off the shot counter in the second period was the story of today’s. The Lightning registered zero, zilch, nada. Andersen made zero saves in the period. In all, the Lightning registered just 9 shot attempts with Carolina blocking 3 of them and the rest going wide of the net. They did finally pick up their first high-danger chance (Hagel’s shorthanded breakaway).

Absolutely disheartening period of hockey.

Third Period:

Kucherov was back on the ice for the third period and helped the Lightning generate some chances early. He ripped a one-timer from the top of the circles that forced Andersen to make a tough save. Michael Eyssimont had a rebound opportunity (and the chance to score against Carolina with his third different team this season) off of a Zach Bogosian shot, but Andersen’s fluffy left pad was in place to make the save.

Shortly after, Alex Killorn was whistled for a penalty and the Canes power play, which was two-for-two on the night, was back at it. The kill started with more bad news or the Lightning defense as Mikhail Sergachev was hobbled after taking a shot off the inside of his left knee. He was reduced to crawling to the bench.

Shorthanded by injuries and penalties, the Lightning surrendered a third power play goal as Teravainen completed the hat trick. Once again, a cross-ice pass made it through and Vasilevskiy wasn’t able to make it across in time.

Teuvo Teravainen (Shayne Gostisbehere, Jesperi Kotkaniemi) Power Play, 5-0 Hurricanes

Sergachev did return just in time to see Brett Pesce throw an extra shot on Kucherov. Bogosian, just off the bench, did not care for that and leapt to the defense of his buddy. Kucherov was called for clipping, Corey Perry served a too-many-men penalty, and Bogisan and Pesce received game misconducts.

Carolina scored on the five-on-three as Kotkaniemi tipped home a shot/pass from Brent Burns. Cool.

Jesperi Kotkaniemi (Brent Burns, Martin Necas) Power Play, 6-0 Hurricanes

The goal came during the five-on-three and the Lightning were able to kill off the rest of it, so they ruined the Hurricanes perfect night on the power play. Sadly they didn’t ruin the shutout and the horn sounded on a disappointing 6-0 loss.

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