A great effort from the Hurricanes tonight went to waste as they dropped their fourteenth overtime decision this season in a 4-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. When playing at five-on-five, the Canes were doing just about everything they needed to do to win. They were getting the puck in deep, winning battles along the boards and generally outplayed the Lightning. Their hard work was rewarded in the second period when they took a 3-1 lead but bad luck and a couple third period penalties ended up shifting things in the Lightning's favor.
The Canes found themselves in another overtime game and an absolutely atrocious roughing call on Brandon Sutter gave the Lightning a four-on-three, which they scored on. Given the Canes horrible luck and play in overtime this year, an outcome like that was inevitable but it's disappointing to see the team play well enough to win but come away with only a point because of some mental miscues and a couple bad breaks.
The Hurricanes performance tonight was nothing to sneeze at but the mental mistakes, penalties and bad breaks are getting very frustrating. Things like this are expected with a growing team and we have seen them improve so much since the beginning of the year, but tonight's game showed that there are still problems that need to be fixed.
Scoring chances & more after the jump
|Period||Totals||EV||PP||5v3 PP||SH||5v3 SH|
Carolina's chances are in red, Tampa Bay's are in white
This game was all about special teams. When the game was at even strength, the Canes grossly outplayed the Lightning but their special teams game was pretty brutal. Case and point, the Hurricanes had two powerplays tonight and created zero scoring chances on both of them. Had they scored, this game would have been a lot different. You can also point at the two penalties that Eric Staal and Chad LaRose took in the third period which gave Tampa a 5-on-3 advantage. For one minute and fifty-five seconds, Carolina killed off that penalty beautifully but Teddy Purcell managed to score on a shot from the point with five seconds left to tie the game. You can not fault the penalty killers for their play there, but the penalties that led to it are another story. Then we fast-forward to overtime when Brandon Sutter was shoved from behind into TB goaltender Mathieu Garon and refree Francois St. Laurent called roughing on Sutter which gave Tampa a powerplay in overtime. As you can probably guess, the Lightning scored on the ensuing powerplay to take home the two points. The call was probably the worst I've seen in a Carolina game this year and it was instrumental in the Hurricanes losing tonight but looking at the events that occurred BEFORE it are important, too.
Let's not forget that the Canes had a 3-1 lead in the 2nd period and let it slip away. It was partially due to penalty trouble and getting less than stellar goaltending from Cam Ward, who probably wants that first Stamkos goal back. In my opinion, the Hurricanes were the better team tonight and it was a shame that a bad call is what led to them losing this game, but when you go back and rewatch the events before that, you will realzie that it was more than just one bad call that cost them two points in the standings.
Individual Scoring Chances
Best EV Forward: Chad LaRose +4
Worst EV Forward: Anthony Stewart -2
Best EV Defenseman: Jaroslav Spacek +4
Worst EV Defenseman: Bryan Allen -1
Before everyone flips out about Anthony Stewart being the worst rated forward, I will say that I do not agree with the numbers here. In fact, I would say that he played his best game as a Hurricane as he was a lot more alive in the offensive zone and led the team with five shots on goal. He seemed to work well on Eric Staal's line with how he was creating room for his linemates and winning battles along the boards. There may have been a few things that I missed when I was watching the game, but I thought he played great overall. The chance report indicates that he was on ice for A LOT of chances & shots against so I will have to rewatch those to see if I notice anything. As for his linemates, Staal and Tlusty were both terrific at even strength when it came to generating chances.
It's great to have Chad LaRose back in the lineup as he really helped the second line get things going tonight. His hard work is what helped generate Jussi Jokinen's goal, along with a generous bounce in the Hurricanes' favor. Speaking of which, Jokinen and Skinner had absolutely no luck through all of February and each of them has a goal in March. Goes to show you that things will eventually go in your favor if you play well enough. Another note on LaRose, while I missed the energy that he brings to the lineup, I did not miss the silly penalties that he takes.
Sutter, Bowman and Nodl did a fantastic job of shutting down the Stamkos line when they were matched up against them. Despite not having the last change, Guy Boucher was able to get Stamkos, Purcell and St. Louis away from Carolina's third line many times tonight (partially because all three played over 22 minutes) and they took advantage of that whenever they had the opportunity.
Zach Boychuk had a couple really good shifts on Staal's line in the first period, but he was also on ice for Tim Wallace's goal. After the first period, eh played only three shifts and it looks like his time in Raleigh has come to an end. It doesn't look like Muller was impressed with anything he saw from him. Also, Derek Joslin played two shifts all game and was then benched. I have no idea why he was even in the lineup when there was another forward available in Jerome Samson.
As you can probably guess, Tim Gleason and Bryan Allen were out there whenever Stamkos was and they gave up their fair share of chances. They didn't get burned by #91, though which is a good sign. I thought Gleason looked great in particular. He was making lives difficult for Tampa Bay's forwards all night and keeping them away from the front of the net, which made it difficult for them to get many chances.
Harrison and Faulk ended up playing a little over 20 minutes a piece, which is a little less than what they've been doing lately but this is probably the right role for them. They were mostly matched up against Tom Pyatt and Ryan Malone's line and, as you can see, defended them very well. That line produced only one scoring chance at even strength when Faulk & Harrison were on the ice.
Jaro Spacek was our highest rated defenseman which is probably because he was matched up with players like Nate Thompson & Adam Hall for most of the game. Same with Jamie McBain. Still, they played their roles well aside from Spacek having that awful turnover in the first period which led to Tim Wallace's goal.
Head-to-head at five-on-five
- Zach Boychuk started the game on Eric Staal's line but was subbed out for Anthony Stewart after the first period so there's some mixing and matching going on here. Stewart seemed to fare worse against Tampa Bay's better players than his linemates, apparently.
- Gleason and Allen did a great job against Stamkos' line when playing at even strength. Yes, he scored twice but the first goal came with McBain & Allen on the ice (and it was a pretty weak goal on Ward's part, imo) and the second was on the powerplay. When it came to their assignment, they did a great job. Sutter's line also shut down Stamkos when they were matched up with him.
- Eric Brewer played about 27 minutes tonight and played with just about all of TB's defenseman throughout the game. He appears to be all over the place in scoring chances as he played well with guys that he was matched up against in the neutral zone (Staal's line) and struggled against guys who he probably started in the defensive zone against (Skinner's line).
- Brian Lee is awful. That is all.
- LaRose, Skinner and Jokinen won all but one of their matchups.
- Tampa Bay's lack of depth is pretty glaring when you look at this chart. The Wyman-Thompson-Hall line was crushed at even strength and no one outside of their top six had that great of a game except for Brett Connolly. I know this team is on a roll right now but I don't know how far they can go when their top players are being relied on to play 25+ minutes on a nightly basis.
- Justin Faulk and Jay Harrison seemed to struggle when they were matched up against the Stamkos line but played well against just about everyone else.
|TBL||1||14:02||Wallace - GOAL||4||8||11||12||19||30||18||20||22||27||29||32||5v5|
|CAR||2||14:37||Stewart - GOAL||4||8||12||13||19||30||2||11||12||15||22||32||5v5|
|CAR||2||4:58||Jokinen - GOAL||4||8||30||36||53||59||2||18||29||32||34||44||5v5|
|CAR||2||3:42||Tlusty - GOAL||5||6||12||13||19||30||15||16||23||26||32||91||5v5|
|TBL||2||2:00||Stamkos - GOAL||4||5||13||16||21||30||2||20||22||29||32||91||5v5|
|TBL||3||12:36||Purcell - GOAL||5||6||16||30||12||16||18||26||32||91||3v5|
|TBL||4||2:19||Stamkos - GOAL||5||6||12||30||2||16||26||32||91||3v4|
Lightning scoring chances:
|26||Martin St. Louis