In what most called a must win game, the Carolina Hurricanes battled on the road to come away with a 3-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lighting in game three of the second round series. With the win, the road team has now won all three contest so far in the series.
With Vincent Trochek unavailable, Morgan Geekie slid into the lineup along with another major lineup change with Petr Mrazek getting the start in the goal. The start was Mrazek’s first action since May 10th. Both teams played into a scoreless first period with Mrazek making a few key saves to keep Tampa Bay off the board.
Carolina finally put an end to the trend of giving up the first goal as Brett Pesce scored on an amazing shot in the top left corner at the 5:15 mark, giving the Canes something they have not had this series – a 1-0 lead.
The floodgates seemed to be open as Jaccob Slavin started a series of stretch passes first to Teuvo Teravainen, who delivered a top notch touch pass to a breaking Sebastian Aho who was able to score low on Andrei Vasilevskiy giving Carolina the 2-0 lead with 7:40 off the clock in the second period. The defending champions would not go away quietly with the help of their deadly power play. The special teams unit sliced into the Carolina lead with a power play goal less than two minutes later from Brayden Point. Another penalty later in the period doomed the Hurricanes as their 2-0 lead vanished with another man advantage goal from Alex Killorn, tying the score at 2-2 heading into the second intermission.
Already down two forwards, Carolina lost Warren Foegle after a big hit late in the second period. Foegle was on the ice for two shifts in the third period, but was unable to continue shortening an already short bench. Mrazek again made key save after save, willing the Hurricanes to overtime. The extra period began with the dangerous Bolts power play unit on the ice. The Carolina penalty kill picked the best time to come up with what might be their biggest kill of the season.
After returning to full strength, Aho blasted a shot from the left side with Jordan Staal posted in front of the net tipping in the shot for the game winner 5:57 into overtime – making this a series again while also guaranteeing at least one more game at PNC Arena.
Next Up: Game 4 – Saturday June 5, 4 PM – USA Network