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Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov scored two goals apiece and the Lightning rallied from a two-goal, second-period deficit to defeat the Hurricanes 6-4 in Game 4 of their second-round series Saturday at Amalie Arena in Tampa.
With 14,000 fans cheering it on, Tampa Bay took a commanding three-games-to-one lead with a chance to clinch when the series returns to Raleigh, N.C., for Game 5 Tuesday at PNC Arena.
After combining for a total of 11 goals in the first three games of the series, the Lightning and Hurricanes erupted for 10, including eight in the second period.
After falling behind 4-2 in the second period, the Lightning stormed back with three power-play goals, including two by Stamkos. Kucherov had the other. Tyler Johnson also scored in the period.
Brayden Point opened the scoring in the first, and Kucherov scored his second goal early in the third.
The Hurricanes’ Teuvo Teravainen and Jesper Fast scored 39 seconds apart in the second to give Carolina a brief 2-1 lead. Dougie Hamilton and Jaccob Slavin added goals in the period for the ‘Canes.
Defenseman David Savard was back in the Lightning lineup after missing the first three games of the series with an upper-body injury.
Here’s how it happened:
David Savard penalized for interfering with Jordan Martinook
Blake Coleman shoots wide of the net shorthanded from the slot after a drop pass from Barclay Goodrow
Goodrow clears the puck out of the Lightning zone
Tampa Bay kills the penalty
Palat shoots wide of the net on a 2-on-1
LIGHTNING GOAL! Kucherov scores his second goal of the game from the slot after a feed from Palat on a breakaway. Lightning 6, Hurricanes 4.
Killorn misses wide of the net from the right circle
Hurricanes pull Mrazek for an extra attacker with more than two minutes remaining
Fast tip from in front goes wide of the net
Vasilevskiy covers with McGinn looking for a rebound. Sergachev responds with a glove to McGinn’s fast
Vasilevskiy saves Necas shot off the rush from the right circle, as well as Aho’s rebound attempt from in close
Goodrow beats two Hurricanes down the ice and kills some time behind the Carolina net
Lorentz shot blocked, and Vasilevskiy swallows his backhand followup attempt
Slavin backhander blocked by Hedman
(Lightning win 6-4)
Heavy Dougie Hamilton shot from the right circle saved by Vasilevskiy
Brayden Point tripped behind the net by Andrei Svechnikov, and the Lightning get their third power play
Vasilevskiy saves Aho shorthanded chance from the left circle
Hakanpaa blocks Stamkos shot from the left circle
Carolina kills the penalty
HURRICANES GOAL: Teuvo Teravainen scores on a quick shot from between the hashmarks off a feed from below the goal line from Jordan Staal. Lightning 1, Hurricanes 1.
HURRICANES GOAL: Jesper Fast beats Jan Rutta to a puck in front of the net and sweeps it past Vasilevskiy. It’s the second Carolina goal in 39 seconds. Hurricanes 2, Lightning 1.
David Savard penalized for tripping Warren Foegele, and the Hurricanes get their first power play
Barclay Goodrow strips the puck from Aho behind the Hurricanes net
Sergachev hits Aho, and the Lightning clear the puck out of the zone
Killorn slides the puck back out of the zone
Goodrow pass just eludes Coleman’s stick on a shorthanded 2-on-1 rush
Lightning kill the penalty
Goodrow blocks Bean shot from in front
Rutta down after hit along the boards. Jordan Martinook called for boarding
Kucherov whiffs on chance from the doorstep after cross-crease feed from Point
LIGHTNING GOAL! Stamkos scores into an empty net after Mrazek can’t hold onto Point shot from the slot and Killorn rebound chance goes off the crossbar over to Stamkos in the left circle. 10:06 left in the period. Lightning 2, Hurricanes 2.
HURRICANES GOAL: Dougie Hamilton beats Vasilevskiy over the right shoulder with a shot from the point. Hurricanes 3, Lightning 2
HURRICANES GOAL: Jaccob Slavin scores on an impossible-angle shot from the left side boards. Fourth goal allowed by Vasilevskiy on 17 shots. Hurricanes 4, Lightning 2.
Jake Bean penalized for holding Barclay Goodrow
Mrazek saves quick shot from Kucherov after faceoff win
LIGHTNING GOAL! Kucherov scores on the power play. 5:22 left in the period. Hurricanes 4, Lightning 3
LIGHTNING GOAL: Tyler Johnson scores from above the right circle. Lightning 4, Hurricanes 4.
Mrazek stones Palat on a breakaway
LIGHTNING GOAL! Stamkos scores a power-play goal from the lower left circle after a cross-ice feed from Kucherov. Lightning 5, Hurricanes 4.
Warren Foegele and Blake Coleman are sent to the penalty box for unsportsmanlike conduct even before the opening puck drop, so we’ll start with 4-on-4 play for two minutes
Victor Hedman jumps into the play, but Brett Pesce dives and deflects his shot from the left circle
Ryan McDonagh shot from the point doesn’t get through to the net
Mrazek saves Hedman shot from the high slot
The 4-on-4 expires
Nikita Kucherov slow to get up after getting hit in the helmet by a high stick from Brady Skjei. Skejei goes to the box but then exits as no penalty was called on the play. Jon Cooper is not happy.
Andrei Svechnikov misses wide from between the circles after a McDonagh turnover in the Lightning zone
Andrei Vasilevskiy catches Teuvo Teravainen shot from the right circle with traffic in front
Jake Bean thwarts Anthony Cirelli wraparound attempt
Mrazek stops Barclay Goodrow shot off the rush after cross-ice pass from Yanni Gourde
Pesce shot from right point misses wide
Alex Killorn shoots wide from the left circle
Wraparound chance by Kucherov and backhander by Brayden Point won’t gofollowing a Hurricanes turnover in their zoneW
Wraparound chance by Kucherov and backhander by Brayden Point won’t go
Jordan Staal penalized for hooking Barclay Goodrow, and the Lightning get their first power play
Brayden Point has a chance on a backhander during a scrum in front of the net after a Victor Hedman shot from the point, but Pesce forces the puck wide
Sebastian Aho clears the puck
Mrazek stops sneaky low shot from Kucherov with a skate save
Hurricanes kill the penalty
A diving Ross Colton breaks up a scoring chance for Brock McGinn, who broke in all alone on Vasilevskiy
LIGHTNING GOAL! Brayden Point taps in Ondrej Palat pass from the left circle to the edge of the crease with 5:36 left in the period. Lightning 1, Hurricanes 0.
Point draws a hooking penalty from Svechnikov after a nice pass from Kucherov into the slot
Teravainen clears the puck out of the zone after a misfire from Kucherov
Aho gets a clear
Another Carolina clear
And, yet another clear
Mrazek saves Sergachev shot from long range, and Carolina kills the penalty
Goodrow backhander goes wide of the net
(Lightning lead 1-0 after one period)
Your pregame scouting report
It’s funny how hockey works sometimes.
With so few goals scored and such a slim margin for error, the team that controls play for the majority of a game doesn’t always win. Conversely, a team can be outplayed but still pull out a victory with an opportunistic goal.
Which is why, as Lightning coach Jon Cooper so often points out, it’s important to trust the process. The playoffs are a “big damn roller coaster,” he said after the Lightning’s overtime loss Thursday in Game 3. You can’t get too high with the highs or too low with the lows.
Play an honest, 200-foot game for 60 minutes, make smart decisions with the puck and fulfill your defensive responsibilities, and more often than not, things will work out in your favor. It’s a formula Tampa Bay rode all the way to a Stanley Cup championship last season.
Which is why Lightning fans should feel good about their team’s chances tonight in Game 4 at Amalie Arena. Despite losing for the first time in the series two nights ago, Tampa Bay players, to a man, said they were pleased with their game, which was their best to that point in the series.
They competed hard, increased their time in the Carolina zone, got their defensemen — particularly Victor Hedman and Jan Rutta — involved offensively, and reignited their power play, converting two of three chances with the man advantage.
If they do the same things tonight, chances are they’ll return to Raleigh, N.C., for Game 5 on Tuesday leading the series 3-1. Of course, it also might help if they improve in the faceoff circle and do a better job of staying out of the penalty box.
Lightning defenseman David Savard, who missed the first three games of the series with an upper-body injury, skated during pregame warmups, paired with Mikhail Sergachev.
The Hurricanes are sticking with Game 3 starter Petr Mrazek in goal, as the veteran stopped 35 of 37 shots on Thursday, including 14 in the third period and overtime. Second-line wing Warren Foegele is back in the Carolina lineup, but forward Vincent Trocheck remains out.
Follow our live updates, starting at 4 p.m., as the Lightning aim to move one step closer to putting the Hurricanes in their rear-view mirror and advancing to the Stanley Cup semifinals.
Setting the scene
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