While the Carolina Hurricanes won the Central Division and showed that they are a legit contender, the defending champion Tampa Bay Lighting showed why they are the defending champions, defeating the Hurricanes 2-0 in game five in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs Tuesday night clinching the series 4-1.
In a recurring theme in the games played in Raleigh, both teams were able to display strong defensive efforts resulting in another low scoring affair. The score remained scoreless at the end of the first period. Tampa struck first as Brayden Point at the 4:06 mark of the second period after a scoring chance from the Hurricanes. Neither team added any more goals before heading into the second intermission with the score still 1-0 in favor of the Lighting.
Returning to the ice for the third period, Carolina looked nothing like a team down by a goal facing elimination. The Hurricanes were unable to produce many serious threats to Andrei Vasilevskiy, who produced another closing serious shutout. The Bolts iced the game and the series with an unassisted goal from Ross Colton with just over 11 minutes left in regulation. The Canes pulled Alex Nedeljkovic with three minutes left in regulation, but finished the game scoreless starting the beginning of a very important offseason for the organization.