The Carolina Hurricanes finished off their season series with the Tampa Bay Lightning with a very important win. This win puts the Hurricanes three points ahead of the Lightning in the Central Division standings.
During Tuesday night’s rematch between the two teams, the Canes were certainly looking for revenge after losing 3-2 on overtime just the day before. That’s exactly what they got, defeating the Lightning 4-1.
Nino Niederreiter scored a goal and provided an assist on the Canes’ behalf. Next, Jordan Staal, Steven Lorentz and Jordan Martinook provided the additional goals in Tuesday night’s huge win.
With this win, the Canes are now three points ahead of the Lightning in their division and have one game in hand.
Throughout the entire game, the Canes performed excellent. They provided strong offense and defense, making it tough for the Lightning to have any open opportunities.
The Canes outshot the Lightning 8-1 in as early as five total minutes, which is impressive.
In a nutshell, the Canes did a great job in playing efficient hockey against a potential playoff team. They seemed to be on point during the entire 60 minute game.
Consequently, they had to play without Brady Skjei for the remainder of the game after leaving with an upper-body injury in the first period. Despite being down a man, the Canes didn’t let that hinder them from getting an important win.
In conclusion, the Canes pratically dominated the game, taking a 3-0 lead. However, Lightning’s Brayden Point recorded a goal to end the shut-out. For the Lightning, that was the only goal they would be able to get.
What’s Up Next for Both Teams
The Canes will take on the Florida Panthers in a two-game series. This will be an interesting matchup to watch. Both teams are tied for first-place, so it will certainly be a fight to see who can get the 1st division standing ranking. The Canes have two games in hand over the Panthers.
The Panthers are 30-12-5 this season and are on a three-game winning streak. Thursday’s matchup between the Canes and Panthers will be a very crucial matchup for each team. The Canes packed a whole lot of offensive and defensive power in their game against the Lightning. So, a lot of intensity is going to be expected when they hit the ice Thursday night.
In addition, the Florida Panthers will be looking to extend their winstreak to four. Their matchup will prove challenging, though. The Panthers have almost the same level of intensity in their game as the Canes. On top of that, both teams will be fighting for first place in the divison.
For the Tampa Bay Lightning, they will face the Columbus Blue Jackets in a two-game series Thursday and Sunday night.
The Blue Jackets are 15-24-9 this season, with only 39 points this season. While they’re at the bottom of the league and playoff hopes almost completely shattered, that shouldn’t make the Lightning rest easy during Thursday’s matchup.
At this point, every win is big. It doesn’t matter who the opponent is or if they’re first ranked or bottom ranked in the divison. Each game is important. So, the Lightning shouldn’t let their guards down during their matchup. If things start turning south for the Lightning, they could end up missing out on a golden opportunity to head to the playoffs.
That’s why it is imperitive that they keep winning. They will need as many points as possible to ensure they get a spot in the playoffs so they don’t get kicked out by any other teams.
The playoff picture is becoming more clearer as the season comes to a close, so it’s important to keep an eye out for who makes in the playoffs.