The Hurricanes were able to capture an impressive 4-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight on the road. The Canes’ offense was jump started by Jeff Skinner on a hard wrist shot from the slot. After Skinner’s goal tied the game in the first period, the Hurricanes were off and running and scored 4 unanswered goals. Erik Cole continued his hot play against Tampa Bay and scored two on the night and Eric Staal had the eventual game winner early in the third period.
However, the Bolts made a strong push in the third period and nearly capped off the comeback. But Cam Ward’s play in net prevented the Lightning from taking control. Simon Gagne scored two power play goals for the Lightning in the loss.
“They’re an explosive offensive team … but Cam [Ward] held down the fort for us, and we were able to buckle down and get two big points,” Cole said.
Even though the Canes still sit three points back in the East, they are gaining more confidence and coach Paul Maurice said in the post game conference that his team played “56 minutes” of quality hockey. What made Maurice even more happy is the fact that his team scored two goals on the power play, a part of the game the Canes have been struggling with all season. But it looks that we are seeing a new and improved Hurricane squad.
Jamie McBain did not play in tonight’s game so hopefully we will see him play tomorrow night in front of the home crowd. Also, Lightning forward Steve Downie returned to the ice after missing nine games with a high ankle sprain, but he was handed a 10 minute game misconduct penalty in the third period.
The rematch takes place tomorrow night at 7PM Eastern time on home ice.