|CAR||1||1||0||(0 - 0)||2|
|TBL||1||1||3||(0 - 0)||5|
Stamkos notched his fifth career hat trick, St. Louis had three assists, and Mathieu Garon added 24 saves as the Tampa Bay Lightning cruised to a 5-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes at the newly-named Tampa Bay Times Forum.
“That was a big stepping stone for what we need to be doing here,” St. Louis said. “We know how important it is to get yourself back in the [playoff] chase. We need to take this game and feel good about ourselves. This was big.”
Ryan Malone also added three assists for the Lightning, winners in five of their past seven.
“It’s huge,” Stamkos said of the victory. “We played a complete game.
We’ll take this win, and it was great to get three in a row.”
Carolina, 1-7-2 in games against the Southeast Division this season, got goals from Justin Faulk and Jay Harrison.
Eric Staal had two assists for the Hurricanes, giving him five points in his past two games, and goaltender Cam Ward stopped 27 of 32 shots.
The loss was Carolina’s fourth in seven games.
Tampa Bay scored three unanswered goals in the final period in a span of just under seven minutes to put the game away rather quickly.
“We have to learn that on the road it’s going to be a battle,” Carolina head coach Kirk Muller said. “We have to be ready to play three periods. Tampa Bay was ready to play in the third and we weren’t.”
Stamkos scored his third goal of the game and league-leading 26th of the season just 43 seconds into the final frame while on the power play to restore the Lightning’s one-goal lead.
Just 22 seconds later, Purcell made it 4-2, and Downie capped the scoring with his sixth of the season at 6:51.
St. Louis’ assist on Stamkos’ final goal was the 500th of his career. He now has one goal and seven assists during a five-game point streak.
“I’m proud of that,” St. Louis said. “When you come into this league you don’t think about that, you are just trying to find your way. And along the way, you reach certain benchmarks, you get recognized for different things and it’s flattering. But it’s an honor even to play in this league.”
St. Louis set up Stamkos’ first goal to open the scoring at 3:22 of the first.
Faulk tied it while on the power play at 16:12, gathering a rebound from the side of the net and wristing one from a sharp angle past Garon to draw Carolina even.
Carolina took its first lead of the game after a questionable holding call on St. Louis along the end boards gave the Hurricanes their third power-play chance of the night. Harrison took advantage of the opportunity, beating Garon at 4:29 for a 2-1 advantage.
The Hurricanes entered the contest with the NHL’s third-worst power play.
Stamkos’ second of the night came at 8:17 of the middle frame, and in highlight-reel fashion, to knot the game at two after he split a pair of defenders in the slot and wristed one past Ward to erase a one-goal deficit.
“Obviously when you get a 2-1 lead on the road, you want to finish better,” Hurricanes forward Jussi Jokinen said. “That’s been our problem and we can’t win games on the road. That’s something we need to get better at soon.”
Tampa Bay thought it had an additional tally from Dominic Moore midway through the third, but it was waived off following a video review after officials determined Moore had interfered with Ward in the crease.
The jumbotron inside the arena clearly showed the puck in the net before Moore was knocked into the net minder by Hurricanes forward Tim Brent, but nonetheless it did not stand to keep the score at 5-2.“We can’t ask for more right now,” Lightning head coach Guy Boucher said. “They’re doing great, everybody’s finding a role and a chair to fit in. Tonight I thought four lines and three pairs and the goaltender all did their job and it was a real team effort in all aspects of the game, so it was very solid."
|Steven Stamkos (24) ASST: Martin St. Louis (18), Steve Downie (9)|
1 - 0 TBL
|PPG - Justin Faulk (2) ASST: Drayson Bowman (2), Eric Staal (15)|
1 - 1 Tie
|PPG - Jay Harrison (3) ASST: Eric Staal (16), Jamie McBain (13)|
2 - 1 CAR
|Steven Stamkos (25) ASST: Martin St. Louis (19), Steve Downie (10)|
2 - 2 Tie
|PPG - Steven Stamkos (26) ASST: Martin St. Louis (20), Ryan Malone (11)|
3 - 2 TBL
|Teddy Purcell (7) ASST: Ryan Malone (12), Brett Clark (6)|
4 - 2 TBL
|Steve Downie (6) ASST: Ryan Malone (13), Tom Pyatt (2)|
5 - 2 TBL
|Teddy Purcell Hooking against Jamie McBain|
|Brett Clark Tripping against Brandon Sutter|
|Martin St. Louis Holding against Justin Faulk|
|Jussi Jokinen Slashing against Dana Tyrell|
|Chad LaRose Hooking against Steven Stamkos|
|Vincent Lecavalier Roughing against Tim Brent|
|Cam Ward Roughing against Dominic Moore|
|Dominic Moore Interference on goalkeeper against Cam Ward|
|Tim Brent Roughing against Dominic Moore|
|Steven Stamkos Hooking against Drayson Bowman|
|Alexei Ponikarovsky Boarding against Bruno Gervais|
|SA: 32||TOI: 60:00|
|Saves: 27||EV: 22 - 26|
|PIM: 2||PP: 3 - 4|
|SV%: .844||SH: 2 - 2|
|SA: 26||TOI: 60:00|
|Saves: 24||EV: 23 - 23|
|PIM: 0||PP: 1 - 3|
|SV%: .923||SH: 0 - 0|
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