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)

Tampa Bay Lightning loses to Carolina Hurricanes 4-2

TAMPA — Lightning goaltender Dustin Tokarski was not far off the post in the third period of Saturday night's game with the Hurricanes.

A few inches, perhaps, at most.

But that was far enough to be the mistake that led to the winning goal in Tampa Bay's 4-2 loss at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

"I have to be over there," Tokarski said. "I have to make myself big and hug that post. Game-winning goal, it can't happen."

To be fair, Jeff Skinner's second goal of the game that broke a 2-2 tie 6:36 into the final period came on a terrific shot after he held the puck while beating defenseman Victor Hedman on a swing around the net.

"A goal-scorer's goal," Tampa Bay coach Guy Boucher called it.

Tokarski agreed that Skinner, last season's rookie of the year, is "a heck of a player," but added, "You need a goalie to make a save there, and who knows? Maybe we get a break later on."

It was a costly loss for Tampa Bay (31-30-7), which also allowed an empty-net goal in its third straight loss while falling five points behind the victorious Capitals for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. It remained six points behind the Southeast Division-leading Panthers.

It also was a dispiriting way to begin what is supposed to be a season-defining seven-game homestand. Finally, it was a stark reminder of what it is like to have an established No. 1 goaltender who not only makes a lot of saves but makes them at the most important times.

Ryan Malone and Nate Thompson scored for the Lightning in a first period that ended 2-2, but Carolina's Cam Ward was dazzling. He made 36 saves as the Lightning had a 38-26 shot advantage, including 18-9 in the second period.

The Hurricanes had an advantage as well on the power play, in that it scored on its one chance. Tampa Bay was 0-for-2 with zero shots.

"Our power play has to get us one, no doubt," wing Marty St. Louis said. "We just couldn't get it done. Their power play gets one. We have to match that and more."

Still, Boucher said, "If you play like (we did) over a long span of games you're going to get more than your share. That's what we have to keep on doing."

Skinner is making a career against the Lightning with eight goals in 10 career games. Before he even shot the puck, he protected it against Hedman's long reach.

"The play earlier, he cut to the middle, so I had to watch that," said Tokarski, who had no recurrence of the dehydration that plagued him in his first NHL start, Thursday in Washington.

It's not that Tokarski, 22, played poorly while making 22 saves.

"I thought he played pretty well," St. Louis said.

In his second career start, he just needed one more save.

Hurricanes 2 0 2 4
Lightning 2 0 0 2
Hurricanes 2 0 2 4
Lightning 2 0 0 2

First Period1, Tampa Bay, Malone 13 (Pyatt, Connolly), 1:20. 2, Carolina, Spacek 5 (McBain, Jokinen), 3:46 (pp). 3, Carolina, Skinner 18 (Jokinen, LaRose), 12:29. 4, Tampa Bay, Thompson 8 (Wyman, Hall), 17:14. PenaltiesWallace, TB (interference), 2:38.

Second PeriodNone. PenaltiesSkinner, Car (cross-checking), 1:16; Hedman, TB (cross-checking), 1:16; Allen, Car (interference), 19:16.

Third Period5, Carolina, Skinner 19 (Allen), 6:36. 6, Carolina, LaRose 14 (Harrison, Faulk), 19:38 (en). PenaltiesE.Staal, Car (tripping), 8:05; Skinner, Car, misconduct, 19:38; Dwyer, Car (unsportsmanlike conduct), 19:57; Hedman, TB (unsportsmanlike conduct), 19:57. Shots on GoalCarolina 9-9-8—26. Tampa Bay 11-18-9—38. Power-play opportunitiesCarolina 1 of 1; Tampa Bay 0 of 2. GoaliesCarolina, Ward 24-19-12 (38 shots-36 saves). Tampa Bay, Tokarski 0-1-1 (25-22). A18,554 (19,204). T2:23. Referees—Rob Martell, Wes McCauley. LinesmenSteve Barton, Shane Heyer.

Hurricanes 4

Lightning 2

Tampa Bay Lightning loses to Carolina Hurricanes 4-2 03/10/12 [Last modified: Sunday, March 11, 2012 12:03am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bucs probe how to fix deep-ball chances missed vs. Bears

    Bucs

    TAMPA — It was only minutes after the Bucs had demolished the Bears 29-7 Sunday when quarterback Jameis Winston tried one final time to connect with receiver DeSean Jackson.

    QB Jameis Winston says he’s focused on the deep-ball chances to DeSean Jackson he missed in the opener: “We left a lot out there.”
  2. Rays journal: Ugly first inning dooms Andriese, Rays against Orioles (w/video)

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Rays manager Kevin Cash made a point of saying before Thursday's game that RHP Matt Andriese was among the pitchers who would most benefit from a strong finish to the season.

    Matt Andriese has a tough first: hits to four of first five batters, leading to three runs, the only ones he gives up in six innings
  3. USF journal: Record night for QB Quinton Flowers

    College

    TAMPA — They've pulled it off with offensive fizz and defensive flatness, and vice versa. They've achieved it on North Dale Mabry and neutral sites. They've attained it sloppily and convincingly.

    Bulls wide receiver Tyre McCants finds a holes in the Temple defense for a 24-yard reception during the first half at Raymond James Stadium.
  4. Joey Knight's takeaways from Thursday's USF-Temple game

    College

    Even when they do catch a break, the Bulls' beleaguered special teams can't hold on to it. After having four kicks blocked in their first three games, USF managed a positive special teams play in the first quarter when Kano Dillon got a piece of an Alex Starzyk punt. But redshirt freshman Craig Watts fumbled the …

  5. Vikings coach feels better about QB Bradford playing vs. Bucs

    Bucs

    EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford moved with a little more bounce in his step during the 15 opening minutes of Thursday's practice before reporters were booted.