NHL Hockey

Final 1 2 3 OT Tot
Carolina 0 1 1 0 2
Tampa Bay 1 1 0 1 3
4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET23:00 GMT7:00 4:00 PM MST6:00 PM EST3:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ET20:00 BRT, April 19, 2021
Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida  Attendance: 3,800

Hurricanes, Lightning clash in key Central Division series

Carolina Hurricanes at Tampa Bay Lightning

  1. Tampa Bay and Carolina have each won three meetings this season, but since the 2012-13 season the Lightning have gone 11-1-0 on home ice against the Hurricanes.
  2. Tampa Bay lost to Florida on Saturday, falling to 5-7-0 (.417) since March 25, 24th in the NHL. Prior to March 25, the Lightning's 24-6-2 (.781) record was the best in the NHL.
  3. Brayden Point scored his team-leading 18th goal and had an assist on Saturday but his 0.84 points per game this season are on pace for his lowest since 2017-18 (0.80). The Hurricanes are the only team against which Point hasn't scored any goals this season.
  4. Victor Hedman had two assists on Saturday and his 11 multi-point games this season are tied for the most by a defenseman. Hedman is also the only Lightning player with a 10+ multi-point games this season.
  5. The Hurricanes had a season-high 48 shots on goal against the Predators on Saturday, including 24 SOG in the first period -- only once has a team had more SOG in a first period this season (Avalanche, 25 on March 18).
  6. Andrei Svechnikov has scored a goal in two straight games after having two goals in his previous 18 games combined. At 21 years, 24 days, Svechnikov is the youngest NHL player with 12+ goals this season.
(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

When the Tampa Bay Lightning host another critical Central Division series during their six-game homestand, coach Jon Cooper will be looking for his team to keep moving forward.

In their final regular-season games in Tampa, the Lightning and Carolina Hurricanes will play Monday night in the start of back-to-back matches.

Through six meetings, the Lightning -- who are playing their fifth straight game against a club in the top half of the Central -- are 3-2-1 against the first place-Hurricanes and 2-0 at home.

In four of the six games, the losing side has been blanked three times and scored only one goal once, with Carolina's Petr Mrazek and Alex Nedeljkovic and Tampa Bay's Andrei Vasilevskiy posting shutouts.

Tampa Bay split games with rival Florida on Thursday and Saturday, but the Panthers came away with three points with the help of a 3-2 overtime loss in the opener and Saturday's regulation win.

Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak scored Saturday in the final minute of the second period to bring the home side to within two, but Cooper said allowing four goals -- and ultimately five after Anthony Duclair's empty-netter -- was too much to overcome.

"We had a lot of puck possession tonight; I just don't know how much we generated," Cooper assessed after the 5-3 loss. "I thought we actually played better tonight than we did the other night when we won. Sometimes that happens.

"You get three (goals) in this league, you should be able to get points. We score three and don't get anything. It comes down to what you've got to keep out of your net."

In Thursday's win, the Lightning were outshot 38-19 and badly outplayed by the Panthers most of the game. But Victor Hedman's late heroics on a breakaway earned the home team two points.

Meanwhile, coach Rod Brind'Amour's Hurricanes are playing well down the stretch, posting a 5-1-1 mark in their last seven contests and narrowly holding the lead in the Central.

Their most recent success -- Saturday night's 3-1 win over visiting Nashville -- was a gritty 1-1 affair for the majority of the time, but newly acquired Jani Hakanpaa notched his first career game-winning goal in just his second contest with Carolina.

The former Anaheim Ducks blueliner took a faceoff win by Vincent Trocheck and blasted home the go-ahead marker midway through the second period as the Hurricanes moved to 6-0 against the Predators.

The tally was Hakanpaa's second NHL goal in 49 career games.

Trocheck has points in 15 of his last 16 games (eight goals, 13 assists) dating back to Feb. 27.

With a 29-10-4 record, the Hurricanes have matched their best point output ever through 43 games, tying the 2005-06 mark set during their Stanley Cup-winning season.

In a dominant first period Saturday, Brind'Amour saw the kind of play he wanted to see from his team as they put up 24 shots to just seven by Nashville for a 1-0 lead.

"It's probably one of the best periods I've seen ever," Brind'Amour said. "We were good. We were on it in everything we were doing. Probably should have had a few more, but nice to have one."

--Field Level Media

Updated April 19, 2021

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