The Carolina Hurricanes lost 5-2 at home against Southeast Division rival the Tampa Bay Lightning, extending the Hurricanes' losing streak to three consecutive games and dropping them to second place in the Southeast Division standings. Drayson Bowman cut the deficit to 2-1 with his first goal of the season 3:04 into the second period, but the Lightning responded with three unanswered goals to put the game away. Hurricanes' starting goaltender Dan Ellis made 31 saves but picked up his second regulation loss this season.
The Hurricanes are still being slowed by numerous injuries to important players, including one top-sox forward and three of the team's top-six defenders. Forward Jeff Skinner missed the game due to a concussion, while defenders Joni Pitkanen and Tim Gleason each missed for lower-body injuries and Jamie McBain missed the game with an upper-body injury. The injuries are proving to have an effect as the team has lost their last three games after stringing together a six-game point streak (including a three-game win streak).
The Lightning got the scoring started 10:54 into the first period on an unassisted goal by Marc-Andre Bergeron. Bergeron beat Ellis with a quick snap shot after picking up a lose puck to record his first goal of the season and put the Lightning up 1-0. Each team would fire 23 shots through the first two periods of play but the Lightning held a 1-0 lead going into the final period of play.
Tampa Bay made the score 2-0 a mere 2:11 into the third period on a goal by Benoit Pouliot, his sixth of the season, assisted by Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis, but the Hurricanes would answer quickly with a slap-shot goal by Drayson Bowman to cut the lead to 2-1. Boman took a pass from Riley Nash high in the slot in-front of the net and blasted a one-timer past Lightning starting goaltender Mathieu Garon to record his first goal of the season. The goal was assisted by Riley Nash and Chad LaRose and came 3:04 into the third period.
The Lightning went on to made the score 4-1 with two goals in 18 seconds, the first goal coming at the 7:37 mark of the third period. Richard Panik scored his first of the season on a backhand shot, assisted by Adam Hall and Steven Stamkos, and then 18 later Tom Pyatt tallied his fourth of the season on a wrist shot, assisted by Alexander Killorn and Eric Brewer, to give Tampa Bay a three-goal lead.
Chad LaRose scored for the Hurricanes to make it 4-2 with just under four minutes remaining to cut the Lightning lead to two goals, the goal was LaRose's second of the season and was assisted by Bobby Sanguinetti and Jussi Jokinen, but Stamkos would put the icing on the cake with his 12th goal of the season 1:27 after LaRose to make it 5-2. Stamkos' goal was assisted by Cory Conacher and Sami Salo.
The Carolina Hurricanes take to the ice again tonight at 7:00 in Nassau Coliseum against the New York Islanders.
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