Extra Shift: Lightning 3 Carolina Hurricanes 2 – OT
Carolina goaltender Justin Peters nearly stole two points away from the Lightning in this game. As it was, his stellar performance earned his club one point.
Up until this contest, the best game the Lightning had seen from an opposing goaltender this season was on November 12, when Montreal’s Carey Price stopped 44 of 45 Tampa Bay shots in a 2-1 Lightning shootout win. Peters’ night on Saturday was better. Of his 47 saves, he made at least 10 breathtaking stops – the number might have been closer to 15. He was sharp on point-blank attempts, rebounds and in-close chances. He made several saves on shots that came immediately after a backdoor pass – on those plays, Peters moved quickly from post-to-post in time to prevent what looked to be a sure goal. Of the three shots that beat him, two were perfectly-placed in the upper part of the net and the other was a deflection.
Peters had to be as good as he was because this was one of Tampa Bay’s best overall games of the season. The Lightning used their speed to enter the Carolina zone with ease and retrieve pucks after they lost them. They displayed a shooting mentality, firing a season-high 50 shots on goal. Every player recorded at least one shot. So from the standpoint of how they executed the game plan, the Lightning earn high marks. But they get even higher marks for their resolve. Twice, they fell behind by one goal and it would have been easy to let frustration set in after failing to convert on so many chances. They didn’t allow themselves to get frustrated, though, and maintained a steady attack throughout the game. As a result, they were able to tie the game twice and extend it into overtime.
Ben Bishop was not nearly as busy as Peters, but he also deserves credit for his performance. There were points in this game when Carolina enjoyed some mini momentum surges. Bishop held the fort in those instances, both when the Lightning were trailing and then, after they tied it at 2-2.
Sometimes, teams win games they shouldn’t – and their goalie is the reason. Other times, clubs lose games they shouldn’t – and the other goalie is the reason. That almost happened in this one, but despite Peters’ best efforts, the team that deserved to win did win.
Lightning Radio Big Moment of the Game (as selected by Phil Esposito). Marty St. Louis’ third period power play goal that tied the score at two.
Lightning Radio Three Stars of the Game (as selected by Phil Esposito).
- Justin Peters – Hurricanes. Best goaltending performance against the Lightning this year. 47 saves in OTL.
- Victor Hedman – Lightning. Goal and assist. Played nearly 27 minutes.
- Radko Gudas – Lightning. GWG in OT.