Power play propels Lightning past Hurricanes

Kim Klement—USA TODAY Sports
Carolina Hurricanes right wing Lee Stempniak shoots as Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy defends during the first period at Amalie Arena. Tampa Bay won 3-1.

TAMPA, Fla. — A potent power play forged a victory for the Tampa Bay Lightning.The Lightning scored a pair of a power-play goals against the best penalty kill team in the league en route to a 3-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday at Amalie Arena.Tampa Bay has won four of the past six games and has points in six of seven.Brian Boyle, Jonathan Drouin and Alex Killorn scored for Tampa Bay. Nikita Kucherov and Victor Hedman each had a pair of assists and Andrei Vasilevskiy finished with 26 saves in the victory.Sebastian Aho scored for the Hurricanes, who lost in regulation for the second time this season in eight back-to-back situations. Cam Ward made 22 saves for Carolina.The power play went to work quickly for Tampa Bay after Noah Hanifin was called for tripping at 7:01 of the first period. Off a faceoff win in the Carolina zone, Hedman slid the puck over to Kucherov at the right point for a one-time shot. Though Cam Ward made the initial save, Boyle was cutting through the crease and put the rebound in at 7:35 for his 10th goal of the season.Tampa Bay’s power play struck again late in the period as three seconds after a two-man advantage expired, Drouin wired a wrist shot from the left circle past Ward with 9.6 seconds left to carry a 2-0 lead in to the second period.The Lightning killed off two Carolina power-play chances in the opening seven minutes of the second period before building on the lead midway through the middle frame.Rookie center Matthew Peca took the puck off the stick of Derek Ryan along the right boards and fed a backhand pass to Killorn, who beat Ward to the near post for his 12th goal at 13:22 to put Tampa Bay up 3-0.Peca picked up his first career NHL point on the play.The Hurricanes cut in to the lead less than two minutes later when Aho had a step on Jason Garrison after taking a pass from Jaccob Slavin before slipping the puck under the pads of Vaslievskiy at 15:20 for his seventh goal of the season to make it 3-1 heading in to the third period.Besieged by injuries this season, Tampa Bay played the third period without Boyle, who suffered an undisclosed lower-body ailment and did not return.NOTES: Carolina G Eddie Lack was too sick to dress for the Hurricanes, so equipment manager Jorge Alves was signed to a professional tryout contract and served as the backup to Cam Ward. Alves, who wore No. 40, played club hockey at North Carolina State before playing in the minor leagues, last with Charlotte in the ECHL. He played the final eight seconds. … Lightning C Vladislav Namestnikov returned to the lineup after missing Thursday’s game because of an upper-body injury. … Tampa Bay RW Ryan Callahan participated in the Lightning’s morning skate and could return to the lineup by next week. Callahan, who underwent hip surgery in the summer, has not played since Nov. 27. … Carolina head coach Bill Peters coached his 200th career game with the Hurricanes. … Carolina placed D Justin Faulk on injured reserve. … Tampa Bay scratched Nikita Nesterov. … The Hurricanes were without F Elias Lindholm, who was injured in Friday’s game against Chicago and did not return. … D Klas Dahlback was a healthy scratch for Carolina.