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Lightning’s Tyler Johnson at his best against Hurricanes

Johnson has seven goals in his past nine games against Carolina and more points against the Hurricanes than any other opponent.
Tampa Bay Lightning's Tyler Johnson (9) skates with the puck after moving past Carolina Hurricanes' Martin Necas (88) during the first period of an NHL game, in Raleigh, N.C., Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019. [KARL B DEBLAKER | AP]
Published Oct. 7

RALEIGH, N.C. — The Hurricanes bring out the best in Tyler Johnson.

His first-period goal in Sunday’s 4-3 overtime loss was his ninth in his past seven games against Carolina. It came on a nice play, too.

MORE LIGHTNING: Fourth line has been the team's best to start the season

Victor Hedman picked up a turnover and fed the puck to Johnson, who fired off a quick slap shot from above the slot, “quick” being the operative word. The Lightning looked to be setting up, and the Hurricanes hadn’t gotten into position, not expecting a shot from so high.

Going back through his eight-year career, Johnson has had more success against Carolina than any other team. In 21 games, he has 21 points. That’s the most points he has against any team and his highest scoring rate.

He didn’t have any explanation for it. Johnson said it just happens that way.

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Contact Diana C. Nearhos at dnearhos@tampabay.com. Follow @dianacnearhos.

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