TAMPA, FL - Despite late goals by Vincent Lecavalier and Simon Gagne less than a minute apart and a final two minute man advantage the Tampa Bay Lightning were unable to complete the comeback as the Carolina Hurricanes would hold on to the 4-3 victory Friday night at the St. Petersburg Times Forum.
Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward faced only 21 shots from the Lighting, 11 of which came in that frantic third period comeback effort by the Lightning, where the bolts would score twice to narrow the deficit to one but eventually come up short.
Gagne scored twice, netting the games first goal on the powerplay early in the first period and again in the third. Carolina's Erik Cole scored twice, while Jeff Skinner and Eric Staal would each add a goal of their own enroute to the Hurricanes victory.
Lightning goaltender Dwayne Roloson was given very little support as he faced 39 shots, making 35 saves. The Bolts have now lost 11 of their last 13 and show no sign of snapping the funk that has plagued them for the entire month of March.
Tampa Bay heads to Raleigh to complete the back-to-back home-and-home with Carolina as these two will skate again tomorrow night from the RBC Center. Expect Lightning goalie Mike Smith to get the start Saturday.