The Tampa Bay Lightning (54-23-5) had a chance to clinch the number one seed in the NHL Eastern Conference on Saturday night - but the Carolina Hurricanes (36-35-11) had other ideas, getting a 3-2 overtime win on Saturday night in Raleigh, North Carolina.
The game started with a bad bounce for the Lightning, and Carolina was right there to capitalize, as James Staal scored just nineteen seconds into this game to give Carolina a 1-0 lead. The Hurricanes added to that lead at the 17:36 mark as Carolina scored on a goal that was challenged by the Lightning for goaltender interference. After review, however, the goal stood for Justin Williams and this game went into the first intermission with Carolina enjoying the two goal lead.
The Lightning began to rally in the second period, as Ryan Callahan scored at the 3:30 mark of the frame to pull the Bolts within 2-1. In the third period, it was Ondrej Palat scoring at the 11:11 mark to tie the game in what could turn out to be a huge goal for the Lightning playoff run. Tied 2-2 after three, Elias Lindholm scored fourty-nine seconds into overtime to win the game for Carolina, but the Lightning remained alive in the race of the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
The Boston Bruins defeated the Ottawa Senators 3-2 on Saturday night to stay alive for that top seed as well - it all now comes down to a makeup game with the Florida Panthers on Sunday night. If the Bruins win in any fashion, the Lightning would be the #2 seed in the playoffs and face the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round of the playoffs. If the Bruins lose in any fashion, the Lightning would be the #1 seed in the playoffs and face the New Jersey Devils in the first round of the playoffs. Keep it locked into 620wdae.com for the absolute latest on the Lightning playoff opponent and schedule.
1. CAR - Staal - (Williams, Di Giuseppe) - 0:19
2. CAR - Williams - (Di Giuseppe, Hanifin) - 17:36
1. TBL- Callahan - (Hedman, Kunitz) - 3:30
1. TBL- Palat - (Miller, Johnson) - 11:11
1. CAR - Lindholm - (Teravainen, Fleury) - 0:49
1. TBL- Tyler Johnson - (Holding) - 13:04
1. CAR - Fleury - (Interference) - 5:38
2. TBL - Koekkoek - (Holding) - 12:22
SHOTS ON GOAL:
Tampa Bay - 34
Carolina - 42