The Tampa Bay Lightning dropped the first game of their challenging three game homestand to the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1 in overtime Tuesday night. Gaining a point by getting to overtime helped the Lightning’s point streak extend to six games.
This one was a tight checking contest finding little chance for offense on the Tampa Bay end of the ledger. If not for Andrei Vasilevskiy, the Lightning could have lost much sooner than they did.
Let’s look at how this one shook out.
1. Unable to Get Into the Flow of the Game
The opening period saw both clubs commit two penalties each. By spending nearly half the period skating 5-on-4, both teams were unable to roll out all four lines in the early going. This particularly hurt the Lightning as they were unable to settle into the game from an offensive standpoint. Despite having two powerplay chances, the Lightning were outshot 12-3 after the first period.
2. Powerplay Struggles
After a couple bright moments in recent games, the Lightning powerplay once again had a difficult night on Tuesday. Carolina was able to kill off all four Tampa powerplay opportunities. The Lightning powerplay threatened very little as their four opportunities resulted in just *one* shot on goal. You read that right. Carolina did an exceptional job of meeting the Lightning at the blue line and made entries into the offensive zone very difficult.
3. Losing Faceoffs
Carolina dominated the puck possession game which helped result in a lopsided 31-18 shots on net on the night. A huge reason for this was Carolina’s dominance in the faceoff circle. The Hurricanes came into the game second in the NHL in faceoff win percentage. They would go on to win nearly 65% of the draws against Tampa Bay and this helped them own time of possession.
4. Fortunate to Get a Point
The Lightning were outplayed by Carolina for much of this game. They played some of their best hockey in the second period. The second saw Steven Stamkos score the Lightning’s only goal and the Lightning penalty kill stave off a 5-on-3 Carolina powerplay. Despite a somewhat questionable penalty that led to Carolina’s tying goal on the powerplay in the third period, the Hurricanes were well deserving of the break for their efforts.
5. Losing Twice
After Carolina’s first overtime winner was waived off for being offsides, Martin Necas would score for the Hurricane’s to seal the deal again. After getting a boost following the initial winner being called back, the Lightning were able to generate a couple of chances in the overtime period. Both Alex Killorn and Anthony Cirelli had looks to grab the extra point for Tampa Bay. The overtime loss marked Tampa Bay’s second straight loss in overtime affairs as the Lightning will now have to wait to return to action until Saturday night against the Florida Panthers.