Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Carolina Hurricanes beat Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2

RALEIGH, N.C. — Lightning goaltender Mike Smith wanted to take the blame for Thursday night's 3-2 loss to the Hurricanes at the RBC Center.

His teammates and coach would not let him.

"There were 18 other guys playing who could have made a difference," center Jeff Halpern said.

But Smith was adamant after a second straight game in which he made a bad pass that led to a goal.

"If you want to be a big-time goalie in this league, you can't give the puck away like that," Smith said. "You can't let in goals like that. I just cost the team two points in the biggest game of the year. I'm sick to my stomach."

It was a big game.

Tampa Bay has to climb past its Southeast foe in the race for the East's final playoff spot, so Halpern rightly called the loss "huge" and coach Rick Tocchet called it a "heartbreaker," though that was more circumstantial.

Tampa Bay (17-22-10) lost its three-game winning streak and fell to 0-2-2 against Carolina when Eric Staal scored off a scramble in front of the net with 1:36 left in the third period to break a 2-2 tie.

Still, Tocchet said his team played an energetic game, featuring a goal and assist from Mark Recchi, who tied Doug Gilmour for 16th all time with 1,414 points and Frank Mahovlich for 29th with 533 goals.

Ryan Malone scored in the third to make it 2-2 after Steve Downie left the penalty box, stripped the puck from Ryan Whitney and pushed it the other way.

"We played a good game," Tocchet said. "Everybody played hard, including the goalie. He shouldn't take the blame."

But Smith could not get past his miscue that led to the Hurricanes' first short-handed goal of the season, tied the score 1-1 5:34 into the second period and altered the momentum.

The sequence ended with Chad LaRose's goal from in front of the net, but it began with Smith's pass to the boards and directly to Carolina's Matt Cullen.

"I looked up and saw two of their players and still threw it to the same side," Smith said. "All I had to do was shovel it behind the net. That hurts. Those mistakes cost you games."

There were others.

LaRose should not have been so open. Defenseman Lukas Krajicek's clearing try along the boards was held in the Lightning zone before Cullen scored on a wraparound with 1:24 left in the second period for a 2-1 lead.

And when Marty St. Louis lost control of the puck in the offensive zone, it sparked a Hurricanes breakout that ultimately led to the winning goal.

"So you can't blame Smitty," Tocchet said. "He's been great all year."

Hurricanes 3

Lightning 2

Carolina Hurricanes beat Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 01/29/09 [Last modified: Friday, January 30, 2009 7:21am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. For starters: Rays at Twins, with Cobb pitching with a purpose

    Blogs

    UPDATE, 12:34: Cash said he has been pleased with Sucre's work and is trying to find playing time for him. ... Cash also said after reading Farquhar's comments about having trouble re-focusing after getting out of a jam and then going back out for a second inning he will factor that in to how he uses him. ... …

  2. St. Petersburg's Sebastien Bourdais vows to return for IndyCar finale

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Sebastien Bourdais was in one of the best race cars he'd ever had, so fast that most of his competitors thought he would win the pole for the Indianapolis 500.

    Sebastien Bourdais does physical therapy at the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana in Indianapolis. Bourdais broke his pelvis, hip and two ribs in an accident during qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 on May 20. He plans to return home to St. Petersburg soon to continue therapy. [Associated Press]
  3. Yellow cards stall Rowdies offense in tie with St. Louis

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — It's not the result they wanted, but it certainly could have been worse. Neill Collins' 87th-minute header off a corner kick was the reward the Rowdies settled for Saturday night during a 1-1 draw with St. Louis before an announced 6,068 at Al Lang Stadium.

  4. Calvary Christian routs Pensacola Catholic to win state baseball title

    Baseballpreps

    FORT MYERS — Calvary Christian left no doubt as to which baseball team in Class 4A was the best in Florida this season. The Warriors defeated Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium to claim the school's first state championship in any team sport. It also solidified a 30-0 season. …

    Matheu Nelson celebrates after scoring on a wild pitch during the first inning, when Calvary Christian took a 6-0 lead.
  5. Numerous lapses add up to frustrating Rays loss to Twins

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — While the Rays made some good defensive plays, threw a couple of big pitches when they needed to and got a few, and just a few, key hits, there were some obvious things they did wrong that led to them losing Saturday's game to the Twins 5-3:

    Rays reliever Tommy Hunter says the Twins’ tiebreaking homer came on a pitch that was “close to where I wanted it.”