Tampa Bay’s third-ranked power play got the better of the Hurricanes’ top-ranked short-handed unit in the first, converting two of three chances.
Jonathan Drouin scored a power play goal late in the first period to make it 2-0 Lightning. Drouin’s 11th goal of the year was assisted by Kucherov (22) and Ondrej Palat (11) at 19:50. Drouin scored just as the first penalty of a 5 on 3 expired. He fired one past Carolina goalie Cam Ward from the left circle. It was Drouin’s team leading sixth power play goal.
The period ended with the Bolts outshooting the “Canes 12-6 and connecting on two of three man advantages.
The second period saw Alex Killorn score his 12th of the year from Mathew Peca (1) and Hedman (26) at 13:22. Peca passed from the boards to Killorn down low where Killorn shot the puck past Ward. For Peca it was his first NHL point.
The second stanza ended with the Bolts ahead 3-1 and Tampa Bay outshooting Carolina 19-18.
The Bolts lost Brian Boyle to a lower body injury suffered in the second period.
The third period was scoreless as the Bolts closed out 2016 with a 3-1 win over Carolina and improved to 19-15-4 (42 points)
Hedman on the win: “That’s a good way to end the year on a high note.”
Coach Cooper on scoring two power-play goals last night: “The key for us was we won every face-off before the goals.”
Carolina equipment manager Jorge Alves played the last 7.6 seconds of the Hurricanes’ 3-1 loss Saturday night to the Tampa Bay Lightning after signing a professional tryout contract to be the backup goalie in place of Eddie Lack, who is ill.
Tampa Bay will host the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday at 7:30 PM.