RALEIGH, N.C. – A streak of not losing back-to-back games remains alive after the Tampa Bay Lightning led a second-half surge to defeat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-0 Friday at PNC Arena.
Ben Bishop remained a force in net, especially in the final minutes of the third period, to claim his eighth win of the season. Bishop also earned his first shutout since last April, which also came against the Hurricanes, during his debut with the Lightning. The shutout was his fourth of Bishop’s career, with two coming in Carolina.
“One of the things we pride ourselves in is not losing two in a row,” Bishop said. “I don’t know if a shutout is going to happen every time against Carolina, but it’s nice to get one.”
The Lightning were haunted by Tuesday’s game for the entire first period Friday night, with 7:12 of time passing before their first shot on net. They went on to end the opening frame with a total of three shots, including two of the three coming from the blue line.
The story in the second period ended a little differently however, as they finally awoke after half the game had passed and became much more assertive on the offensive end. Managing just six shots through the first 33 minutes, the Bolts fired away seven shots in the three minutes that followed, including some good fortune on the scoreboard.
“We had a little talk after the first period,” defenseman Victor Hedman said. “We came out, took some more shots and created some more shots in front of the net.”
“We had to have a discussion on why weren’t getting pucks to the net,” head coach Jon Cooper said. “When frustration sets in you tend to do too much and I thought we weren’t taking shots quick enough and after our talk I thought we did a much better job.”
Hedman took what was said in the first intermission chat and changed the Bolts’ direction on the ice in the middle frame. Not able to see a clear lane to shoot, Hedman banked a shot off the boards. The puck took a bounce that got caught-up with Carolina’s Justin Peters and was eventually pushed over the goal line by the ‘Canes netminder for the Bolts 1-0 lead at 9:54 of the second period.
“I banked a shot off the back boards and hoped someone would pick it up, but luckily it just went it,” Hedman said. “It is a good option to bank off the boards and create some chaos.”
Then on Steven Stamkos’ ninth shot of the night, he finally cashed-in to increase the Lightning’s lead to 2-0. Alex Killorn’s initial shot missed the net, but Stamkos knocked the rebound in on Peters for his 10th goal of the season at 11:38 of the third. Stamkos’ nine shots in the game were a Lightning best this season.
Six minutes later, Killorn tallied a goal of his own for a 3-0 lead. Leading the 2-on-1 into the ‘Canes’ zone, Killorn passed to Martin St. Louis, who passed quickly back to Killorn for the wrister that found the back of the net at 17:14. St. Louis finished the night with two helpers.
Despite creating traffic in front of Bishop’s net multiple times nearing the end of regulation, the ‘Canes were unable to get one past him, as they suffered their first shutout of the season.
UP NEXT – Tampa Bay plays their second game in as many nights Saturday against the St. Louis Blues at home. The Lightning play once more at the Tampa Times Forum Thursday before embarking on a three-game road trip that includes divisional matches with the Detroit Red Wings, Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens.