TAMPA — Lightning coach Rick Tocchet closed his postgame news conference Saturday with an apology.
It's not every night one's team is clobbered 9-3, and Tocchet wanted Tampa Bay fans to know he and the coaching staff feel their pain.
"It's embarrassing for them," Tocchet said after the Hurricanes had a grand time padding their stats at the St. Pete Times Forum.
"I feel bad for them; pay that money to come see your team lose 9-3. I apologize to them. It's a humbling experience for all of us."
Don't let the final score fool you. Carolina, which swept the six-game season series, let down after its six second-period goals forged a 9-1 lead.
Tocchet sent a message by calling a mandatory off-ice workout after the game, canceling today's on-ice practice in favor of an off-ice session and paired an off-ice workout with Monday's on-ice program.
"If you don't work on the ice, it's going to be a little boot camp," he said.
There was little work to be found as Tampa Bay (21-32-13 and on a 2-7-2 streak) lost its third straight.
"It was awful," defenseman Matt Smaby said. "It was embarrassing; lack of intensity, lack of focus, something. It's more than one thing, I think."
"A team stinker," Tocchet said. "Every guy contributed."
• Carolina's nine goals were one off the record for most allowed by the Lightning in a game.
• The six-goal loss tied Tampa Bay's worst of the season.
• The Hurricanes' six second-period goals were the most the Lightning has allowed in a period at home.
• Eric Staal's four goals, which gave him 32 for the season, and six points tied team records set by Ron Francis when the Hurricanes were the Hartford Whalers.
• The only player to score more against the Lightning was Peter Bondra, who had five goals for the Capitals on Feb. 5, 1994. No player had four since Pavel Bure for the Panthers on Jan. 1, 2000.
• The Hurricanes' nine goals, on 37 shots, are the most the team scored since it moved to Raleigh, N.C., in 1997.
• Lightning goalie Mike McKenna was pulled with 9:51 left in the first period after he allowed three goals on seven shots. But McKenna started the third after Karri Ramo allowed six goals on 21 shots in the second.
Interesting, given Tocchet's pregame comments.
"If you're not going to be competitive, I don't want those players here," he said. "If you're not going to compete, don't bother coming next year to training camp."
Asked about it after the game, he said, "You can't get rid of 21 guys in one night."
It was a joke … wasn't it?
First Period—1, Carolina, Staal 29 (Brind'Amour), 7:01 (sh). 2, Carolina, Staal 30 (Cole, Ruutu), 9:40. 3, Carolina, Babchuk 9 (Pitkanen), 10:09. 4, Tampa Bay, St. Louis 24 (Stamkos, Szczechura), 12:43. Penalties—Whitney, Car (hooking), 6:47; Staal, Car (cross-checking), 14:10; Babchuk, Car (slashing), 17:53.
Second Period—5, Carolina, Corvo 12 (Cole, Staal), 2:41. 6, Carolina, Brind'Amour 9 (Samsonov, Cullen), 3:48 (pp). 7, Carolina, Ruutu 18 (Samsonov, Corvo), 6:03 (pp). 8, Carolina, Staal 31 (LaRose, Ruutu), 12:48. 9, Carolina, Staal 32 (Ruutu, Cole), 16:45. 10, Carolina, Ruutu 19 (Staal, Cole), 19:33. Penalties—Artyukhin, TB (holding), 3:11; Tampa Bay bench, served by Artyukhin (too many men), 5:42; Halpern, TB (hooking), 5:51.
Third Period—11, Tampa Bay, Lecavalier 28 (Malone, Prospal), 3:30. 12, Tampa Bay, Malone 23 (Prospal, Lecavalier), 9:12. Penalties—Szczechura, TB (hooking), 11:06; Cullen, Car (hooking), 14:34; Gleason, Car (roughing), 19:51; Koci, TB, double minor (roughing), 19:51. Shots on Goal—Carolina 8-21-8—37. Tampa Bay 8-8-9—25. Power-play opportunities—Carolina 2 of 5; Tampa Bay 0 of 4. Goalies—Carolina, Ward 29-21-3 (25 shots-22 saves). Tampa Bay, McKenna (15-12), Ramo 2-7-2 (10:09 first, 22-16), McKenna (0:00 third). A—15,692 (19,758).