Jeff Skinner was a hero, scoring the game-winning goal in double overtime.
The Lightning struck first blood when Tim Marks sent a pass from behind the net to Matt Butcher, who rifled a one-timer past Carolina goaltender Troy Passingham 5:42 into the first period. The lead wouldn’t last long though, as Matt Kennedy of the Hurricanes scored on a power play near the end of the first to knot the score at one apiece. Carolina outshot the Lightning 14-5 in the first.
The Bolts jumped back on top in the second when Butcher scored his second of the game on a power play, just 2:14 in. However, Carolina responded once again, this time with under two minutes remaining in the second stanza.
Justin Shugg skated in on an odd-man rush, received a well-placed backhand pass from Matt Caria and directed the puck past the left leg of Tampa Bay goalie Jaroslav Janus for the tying goal. The period would end with a score of 2-2, and the shots reading 20-14 in favour of the Canes.
Jared Staal posted an unassisted goal at 7:47 of the third, giving the Hurricanes their first lead of the hockey game.
Tampa Bay tied the score one last time less than four minutes later. James Wright knocked home the rebound from a Brett Connolly shot from the slot to tie the game 3-3. The score would stay that way for the rest of regulation time.
After a 4-on-4 overtime didn’t solve anything, the teams moved on to 3-on-3. Jeff Skinner ended the game 2:36 into the second overtime with a wrist shot from the right circle. The final shot total was 34-27 for Carolina.
MY THREE STARS:
1. Jeff Skinner – Skinner posted two points, including the game-winning goal, and battled all night. Definite first star!
2. Matt Butcher – Butcher scored two goals, but it wasn’t enough to overtake the Hurricanes. Still played very well.
3. Matt Caria – Caria gave a solid effort all night and contributed two assist to the scoresheet.
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