TAMPA (95.3 WDAE) -- The Tampa Bay Lightning spent the first 50 minutes Thursday unable to put the puck in to the net, but used a pair of late power play goals to rally from a 1-0 deficit, eventually putting away the Carolina Hurricanes 3-1 at Amalie Arena.
Tampa Bay was able to keep the first period scoreless, despite getting just three shots on goal through the first 20 minutes of the game. Carolina took advantage of Andrei Vasilevskiy's only mistake, as a rebound from a Dougie Hamilton shot off the left pad came right to Justin Williams, who banged it home for his 11th goal of the season.
Vasilevskiy finished with 26 saves on 27 shots faced.
The Lightning could not capitalize on the first four power play opportunities, having two of them end early due to penalties of their own, but when Andrei Svechnikov took a hooking penalty midway through the third, Tampa Bay finally broke through on Petr Mrazek, with Ondrej Palat getting the puck to knuckle past the Carolina netmonder for his fifth goal of the year and a tie game.
Greg McKegg's slashing penalty with under four minutes to play in the game would prove to be the difference, as Nikita Kucherov found Brayden Point for a one-time shot from the right circle that ended up sneaking inside the far post for his 27th of the season.
With the extra attacker on for the final 1:18 of the game, Steven Stamkos would find point after a clear, and give the potential All-Star an exclamation point with his second goal of the game and 28th of the year into the empty net.
Tampa Bay improves to 34-8-2 on the season, including a 2-0 mark on this short homestand, and is now 17-1-1 in their last 19 games. They go back on the road Saturday to take on Buffalo (23-14-6) in the first of a back-to-back. Face-off from Keybank Center is set for 7:00.
- CAR: GOAL - Justin Williams (11). ASSISTS - Hamilton, Van Riemsdyk. TIME - 4:34
- TBL: GOAL (PP) - Ondrej Palat (5). ASSISTS - Stamkos, Point. TIME - 11:56.
- TBL: GOAL (PP) - Brayden Point (27) ASSISTS - Kucherov, Hedman. TIME - 16:45
- TBL: GOAL - Brayden Point (28). ASSISTS - Stamkos, Killorn. TIME - 19:34